The Honolulu, Hawaii Police Department plans on reviewing a new plan to confiscate firearms from medical cannabis patients after news of the plan ignited an online activist firestorm.
The story broke when marijuana journalist and podcaster Russ Belville told his listeners about a letter that had been sent to some medical marijuana patients in Honolulu. The letter read, in part:
“This letter is to inform you that under provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Section 134-7(a) you are disqualified from firearms ownership, possession or controlling firearms. Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition.
“HRS 134-7.3 Seizure of Firearms Upon Disqualification:
“If you currently own or have any firearms, you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit, and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) or otherwise transfer ownership.”
Besides the glaring lack of due process, one is struck by the notion that taking prescription pills and drinking alcohol is perfectly acceptable in conjunction with owning firearms, but being a medical marijuana patient is not.
Beyond that are the practical implications of such a plan: What happens when someone who was supposed to turn in their guns…doesn’t? We already know that law enforcement will not hesitate to bring all of their weaponry to bear if they suspect you have an illegal plant; what if they know you have marijuana and a firearm?
HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said some of the letters may have been authorized by police commanders, but not necessarily by new police chief Susan Ballard. The original impetus for the plan seems to be the fact the above-mentioned provision in the Hawaii Revised Statutes prohibits those who violate federal law from owning a firearm, and since all medical marijuana patients are violating federal law, they are not legally allowed to own guns, an issue that has been in the news for quite a while now.
Here we have yet another way in which federal law can cripple and even derail the rights of marijuana users in state that have supposedly deemed their cannabis use legal. How many people could possibly be hurt and even killed for no reason if law enforcement starts going to the homes of medical marijuana users and tries to take their firearms?
Why would we even want to find out the answer to that question?