Marijuana users still not allowed to possess firearms in Virginia

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Despite Virginia legalizing adult consumption and possession of marijuana, it is still against federal law.

This means even though Virginians may now have marijuana, and may have a gun, they aren’t allowed to have both at the same time.

“Marijuana and firearms ownership, they don’t go together,” says Matthew Jones, the manager of SafeSide Tactical in Roanoke, who points out Section 21e of the federal form to purchase a firearm, which reads; “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”

“Even though it is legalized here in Virginia for adult use and consumption over the age of 21, the federal government still has a prohibition on it and still has it on the schedule for narcotics, so those two items don’t mix,” adds Jones.

The disclosure below that section points out; “I understand that a person who answers “yes” to any of the questions 21.b. through 21.k. is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.”

Staff members with SafeSide say with state marijuana laws recently decriminalizing the substance, the business posted an article on their online blog to address recent customer questions and concerns.

“We’ve had a few interactions with customers who had a ... very natural perfume on them,” explains Jones. “We’re just trying to get ahead of that to make sure that the public is educated on the do’s and don’t of firearm usage, and that’s one of the big ones.”

Additionally, staff members are reminding people of the importance of being truthful when applying to purchase a gun.

“If you are found with marijuana and a firearm they could go back and charge you criminally for having lied on the federal form, so we want to make sure when you answer those questions, you’re answering truthfully and honestly at the time you fill out the form.”

Jones says staff won’t, and will not be allowed, to provide services or allow anyone to touch a firearm if they are showing any signs of marijuana intoxication or use.

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