This topic came up because of the news about Hunter Biden’s felony gun charge.

The President’s ne’er-do-well son is expected to plead guilty to possession of a gun by “an unlawful user or addicted to any controlled substance”.


In the case of the younger Biden, the substance was crack, and the evidence that he did it…is that he wrote about it his 2021 memoir.

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Someone (Nico) asked if that would apply to marijuana users as well.

AddWeed via Unsplash
AddWeed via Unsplash

It turns out…that’s a REALLY good question.

Cannabis, whether obtained in a “legal” state or not, IS on the list of controlled substances.

I want to be really clear about this: if you use marijuana, you are legally prohibited from possessing a gun.

Now, there IS a little more nuance and texture to the story and I will get to that.  But I want to make the point that I really fact-checked this. I checked multiple expert sources. Unanimously, they all say, ”It is illegal for you to possess a gun if you use marijuana”.

There’s not even a medical “compassionate use” loophole. And, if you lie about it when filling out forms to purchase a gun, THAT’S a felony too.

Now, for a little texture.

This isn’t something that gets actively prosecuted. Legal experts say that is unusual for the kind of charges against Hunter Biden to be brought. And he was using CRACK. So far, there hasn’t been any story about any anti-pot feds comparing medical cannabis lists with lists of gun purchases and going after people. Although, that could certainly happen.

Gun Rights Advocates Hold 2nd Amendment Rally At Kentucky State Capitol
Getty Images

Finally, there is a very active debate going on right now about whether otherwise law-abiding pot smokers should have to give up their constitutional right to bear arms. A recent ruling from a district judge says the prohibition is unconstitutional.

This question isn’t settled for good but most legal experts, even pro-cannabis ones, advise that you can have a gun or use marijuana, but you can’t do both.

For now.

ALSO SEE: 30 Most Decade-Defining Memes


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