Marijuana usage while in possession of a gun is illegal, according to the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which made this point on the heels of Minnesota legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
“Until marijuana becomes legalized federally, gun owners and possessors need to remain aware that it is still illegal to mix marijuana together with firearms and ammo,” said Jeff Reed, acting special agent responsible for the operations of the ATF’s St. Paul field office. “We felt it was vital to remind Minnesotans of this difference as the state of Minnesota’s marijuana laws change since we regulate the weaponry business and enforce firearms regulations.”
In a lawsuit filed after Nevada legalized marijuana for recreational use, a panel of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals came to a nearly identical decision.
The Ninth Circuit court ruled unanimously in support of a weapons prohibition for marijuana users, according to Breitbart News on August 31, 2016. Judge Jed Rakoff, a senior district judge, said that it is “reasonable” to prohibit the sale of weapons to marijuana users since the substance “raises the risk of irrational or unforeseeable conduct with which gun use shouldn’t be associated.”
The ATF Form 4473 used for the background check on weapon purchases inquires as to whether the prospective buyer is “an unlawful user of…marijuana.” Anyone who responds “yes” to that inquiry is ineligible to buy a firearm.