Brian Mast Introduces the Gun Rights and Marijuana Act

Last week, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., introduced a bill “to protect the Second Amendment rights of individuals who use cannabis in states that have legalized some form” and which “would end the prohibition of gun sales to users of cannabis in states where medical or recreational use is permitted.”

Mast introduced the “Gun Rights and Marijuana (GRAM) Act” on Thursday.

“No one should be forced to choose between their rights: you have a right to bear arms, and in many states, you have a right to use cannabis,” said Mast. “Congress needs to legislate based on reality, and the reality is that those who legally use marijuana are being treated as second-class citizens. That’s not acceptable. Government exists to protect the rights of the people, and that’s what this bill does.

“Addressing this issue is of particular importance to the veteran community,” Mast continued. “No veteran that I know wants to be forced to choose between a viable treatment option for conditions like PTSD, and the ability to protect themselves and their families. The GRAM Act is about ensuring no one has to make that choice.”

Mast’s office offered some of the reasons why the congressman was championing the bill.

“Currently, federal firearms law restricts the sale of guns or ammunition to anyone who is an ‘unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.’ The GRAM Act creates a carve out for marijuana, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act, for individuals who live in states or on tribal lands where cannabis use is legal,” Mast’s office noted. “According to an American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse survey, 60 percent of veterans who said they used medical cannabis said that they used it in place of alcohol, and 50 percent said they used it in place of prescription medication. Studies have shown that cannabis can be a valuable tool in treating neuropathic pain, post traumatic stress, and depression, particularly for veterans.”

Mast’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee last week. So far, there are no co-sponsors in the House and no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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