Think About It: Guns and Ganja - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 7, 2017

Think About It: Guns and Ganja

The Hawaii Police Department is reviewing its recently-announced policy that anyone who is legally using cannabis (or marijuana) on Oahu must turn in his or her firearms and ammunition within 30 days of receiving a letter from HPD. 30 legal marijuana users got the letters, and federal law dictates that an "unlawful user" of a controlled substance, a class which marijuana finds itself in, may not possess firearms. According to federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance, like heroin, and it simply cannot be used legally. The DEA claims that marijuana has not been proven to be safe and effective by the Food & Drug Administration, and thus it refuses to budge on the Schedule I profiling of marijuana… after 47-years of complaints.

While we wait and see what HPD's final decision is related to guns and medical marijuana users, this once again points out the problems associated with the fact that more and more states now allow the use of marijuana- either for medical patients or recreationally for anyone over the age of 21 with a belly button. It is all very confusing how a substance that's banned nationally can be Ok'ed locally, kind of. Then there's the whole bank issue, as in where do dispensaries park their money, since banks cannot accept drug money.

One can only hope that as more states see the multi-colored light and start easing the restrictions on marijuana, that the federal government better defines its plans. No one would ever suggest that alcohol drinkers turn in their weapons, yet the list of crimes committed while using alcohol is well known- including robbery, aggravated assault, sexual assault, child abuse and homicide. In fact 40% of convicted murderers used alcohol before or during their crimes. Everyone needs a clearer definition of the dos and don'ts related to marijuana use- recreationally or for medicinal purposes. Thus, whatever HPD ultimately does here related to firearms ownership and medical marijuana usage, it's really only one piece of a much bigger puzzle that needs to become a lot less hazy in the coming years. Think about it…

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