Justice Department Appeals Ruling Overturning Federal Ban on Firearms for Cannabis Users

0.8 min readPublished On: March 10th, 2023By

WASHINGTON, DC–The Justice Department is fighting back against a recent ruling that overturned a longstanding federal law banning cannabis users from possessing firearms. In early February, a federal judge in Oklahoma deemed the 1968 law unconstitutional, stating that using cannabis does not exhibit any of the characteristics historically associated with firearms regulation. The judge argued that cannabis use is not violent, forceful, or threatening and does not involve the actual use or threatened use of force. The Justice Department has announced that it will appeal the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

The government’s stance on the issue has been consistent in the past, with a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the law in 2016. The panel argued that the ban on cannabis users possessing firearms is necessary to prevent gun violence, as cannabis users are more likely to engage in violent crimes. The case in question is United States of America v. James Michael Harrison.

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