Medical Marijuana: Sheriff Can't Revoke Pistol Permit Just Because of Medical Use, Oregon Court Rules 12/16/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/415/pistolpermits.shtml

Being a medical marijuana user does not make you unfit to possess a concealed pistol permit, an Oregon circuit court judge held Tuesday. The ruling came in a case that began when Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon revoked Steven Schwerdt's permit after Schwerdt revealed that he uses medical marijuana. Sheriff Gordon had also jerked the permits of at least four other medical marijuana patients, County Counsel Elmer Dickens told the court.

Oregon voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 1998 with passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Some 11,000 Oregonians, including Schwerdt, hold state-issued medical marijuana cards.

But Sheriff Gordon and County counsel Dickens argued the sheriff was adhering to the terms of federal gun control statutes, which forbid people who use illicit controlled substances in a "consistent and prolonged" fashion from possessing firearms. Congress "intended to keep firearms out of the hands of presumptively risky people," Dickens argued as he asked the court for "a good-faith extension" of federal law to Oregon state law.

No can do, ruled Washington County Circuit Court Judge Marco Hernandez. Oregon law did not give county sheriffs the right to deny or revoke permits based specifically on violations of the federal law, he held. Nor did the county convince him that Schwerdt was violating the law, he added.

Schwedt's case was argued by activist attorney Leland Berger, who hailed the ruling afterward in remarks reported by the Portland Oregonian. "The idea is that Congress did not want people who are under the influence to be buying or possessing guns," he said. "Here, the use is medicinal. I think the sheriff unfairly singles out medical marijuana users."

Sheriff Gordon denied that charge. Federal law bars illegal drug users from possessing firearms, he told the Oregonian. "I can't license someone to carry a weapon that the federal government says they can't have in the first place," Gordon said. "The legislators have to get together and get some clarity on that."

In the meantime, and unless and until the county appeals, Sheriff Gordon must give Schwerdt his permit back and no longer use medical marijuana as an excuse to deny or revoke permits for others.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #415 -- 12/16/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Appeal: David Borden Makes a Case to Support DRCNet for 2006 | Feature: DEA, Local Police Join Forces to Raid 13 San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensaries | Feature: Jurors Acquit California Narc Who Killed Rudy Cardenas in Mistaken Chase | Feature: Coca Leader Evo Morales Poised to Win Bolivia Presidential Vote Sunday | DRCNet Book Review: "Bud, Inc.: Inside Canada's Marijuana Industry," by Ian Mulgrew (2005, Random House Canada, 287 pp., approx. $US 29.00, HB) | Alert: Protest DEA's December Outrage | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Sentencing: Report on 2004 New York Drug Law Reform Finds Less than Meets the Eye, Much More to Do | Industrial Hemp: South Dakota Indians Go to Federal Court in Effort to Grow Crop | Medical Marijuana: Sheriff Can't Revoke Pistol Permit Just Because of Medical Use, Oregon Court Rules | Marijuana: Governor to Try Again to End Legal Marijuana in Alaska | Medical Marijuana: Bills Active in Several States | Latin America: GAO Report Challenges US Statistics on Cocaine Seizures | Web Scan: Seattle Times, Village Voice, San Diego Raids and LEAP in Princeton | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Openings: Listings at the Marijuana Policy Project | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]