Rep. Don Young, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has introduced the Gun Rights And Marijuana (GRAM) Act, with the aim of securing the Second Amendment rights of Americans living in states where weed is legal.
Under current law, using recreational or medicinal marijuana can disqualify a person from purchasing a firearm. A federal form that gun buyers fill out requires them to testify that they are “not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” The form states that “The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or de-criminalized.”
According to Young, this potentially disqualifies Americans who use marijuana from gun ownership, or it forces them to risk perjuring themselves.
Young’s GRAM Act exempts those who use marijuana in states or on tribal land where it is otherwise legal. Alaska legalized adult-use marijuana in 2014, and most Americans now live in a state with some level of legalized use, despite continued federal prohibitions.
In addition to protecting Second Amendment rights, Young’s legislation also defends a state’s right to set their own cannabis policy.
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“When I was sworn into Congress, I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States,” Young said. “That oath does not mean picking and choosing which Amendments to defend; it requires us as Members of Congress to protect the ENTIRE Bill of Rights.”
“Gun ownership is a significant part of Alaska’s culture and lifestyle,” he added. “When my constituents chose to legalize adult-use marijuana, they were not surrendering their Second Amendment rights. At a time when more individuals have been purchasing firearms for self-defense, sportsmanship, hunting, and countless other reasons, we have experienced a surge in state-level cannabis reforms.”
Young said the federal government “has no business unduly restricting responsible citizens from exercising their rights or restricting states from listening to their constituents and reforming marijuana laws.”
The GRAM Act is co-sponsored by Representatives Brian Mast (R-FL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL).