Delaware House Could Vote on Bill Ensuring Medical Cannabis Pati - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware House Could Vote on Bill Ensuring Medical Cannabis Patients Can Buy Guns

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(Photo: MGN Online) (Photo: MGN Online)

DOVER, Del.- A bill aimed at ensuring Delawareans who legally use medical cannabis can purchase guns could be advanced for a final vote in the state House after passing in the Senate this summer.

SB79 would clarifiy existing law so that an individual is not disqualified from possessing or purchasing a firearm because the individual is a registered qualifying patient under the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act. It passed in a 20-0 vote earlier this year in the Senate.

Supporters of the bill say people who use medical marijuana should not be barred from owning or purchasing firearms.

"Cannabis patients want to keep their rights like everyone else. We deserve the right to use our second amendment rights," said Kim Petters, a medical marijuana patient from Magnolia.

Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover) said he is hopeful the legislation will get final approval in the House and said people who use medical marijuana should not be punished for their choice of treatment.

"It doesn't mean that they're a bad person. It certainly doesn't mean that they're a dangerous person. They should have the right to protect themselves and their families," he said.

However, some members of law enforcement and firearm dealers worry the proposed law will conflict with federal rules on gun purchases.

Brian Brown, the owner of Smyrna Sporting Goods, said federal law requires people who want to purchase firearms to fill out a form that says whether they use illegal drugs, including marijuana. Checking the box with a "yes" would automatically disqualify someone for a firearm purchase.

Although Delaware has legalized medical marijuana, the drug remains illegal at the federal level---regardless of how it is used under state laws.

Brown said a cannabis patient would be lying if they did not disclose that they use marijuana on the federal application form.

"They get people, if need be, on whether they've [perjured themselves] or lied," he said. "This is a contract that everything you said on this contract is legal or true."

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