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Gun, Medical Pot Groups Blast ATF Policy

• Billings Gazette via DailyPaul/
 HELENA — A gun group and medical marijuana advocates expressed outrage Tuesday over a new federal policy clarifying that it is illegal for medical marijuana cardholders to buy firearms and ammunition and for dealers to sell these products to them.

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, and Kate Cholewa and Chris Lindsey, board members of Montana Cannabis Industry Association, separately blasted the Sept. 21 letter sent by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Justice Department to federally licensed firearms dealers.

“It is egregious that people may be sentenced to years in a federal prison only because they possessed a firearm while using a state-approved medicine,” Marbut said in a statement from the association.

Cholewa said: “In fact, the policy goes so far as to say even being in possession of a medical cannabis card forfeits a citizen’s Second Amendment rights whether or not that person ever followed through and used cannabis for their condition.”

Chris Lindsey, a lawyer specializing in medical marijuana cases, wrote: “With a stroke of a pen, the Department of Justice has suspended the Second Amendment for those who use medical cannabis.”

Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, who headed an interim legislative panel that studied the issue last year, called the letter “further evidence that federal marijuana law trumps any Montana legislation, initiative or court action attempting to create protected medical use for marijuana.”

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