Alaska Gun Rights for Medical Cannabis Patients
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In 1998, Measure 8 was approved with 58.7% of the vote, legalizing medical cannabis in Alaska. The law permitted individuals with a prescription from a physician to possess up to one ounce (28 g) of cannabis or to cultivate six plants.
The Alaska Medical Marijuana Registry is an initiative that enables recipients of a registered identity card to be patients with qualifying, debilitating medical conditions. The card makes medical marijuana accessible legally.
Alaskan citizens may purchase cards, which are exclusively good for use in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Bureau of Vital Statistics oversees the registry.
You must have been given a diagnosis for at least one of the qualifying medical conditions in order to obtain an Alaska medical cannabis card.
Additionally, you need to have a current or updated diagnosis from a doctor who has seen you in person within the previous 16 months
Alaskans with the following medical conditions may use medical marijuana:
- Chronic Pain
- HIV or AIDS
- Multiple Sclerosis
Patients in Alaska essentially have the advantage of shopping at dispensaries that sell medical marijuana.
If you are underage, your parent or legal guardian must certify that your doctor has discussed the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana use with you.
Additionally, your primary caregiver must be your parent or guardian, who must have authority over marijuana usage and possession.
On May 1, 2023, the convictions of about 750 Alaskans for having marijuana were taken off of Courtview, the state’s online database of court cases.
The move was announced in an order signed on January 31, 2023, by the Alaska Supreme Court.
The records will still be available at courthouses and through official criminal background checks, but they won’t be as easy for the general public to find.
To qualify for expungement, a person must have been 21 or older when they committed the offense of having less than an ounce of marijuana and there must be no additional offense connected to the conviction.
Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in Alaska?
In national polls, Alaska regularly had some of the highest reported rates of adult cannabis usage and gun ownership. The two subjects have to overlap in this instance.
Given federal policy against cannabis, it is unclear how state-level legal cannabis and Second In cannabis cultivation, amendments refer to additional mate... rights should be balanced. Additionally, based on federal law, not state law, the federal paperwork used to transact firearms (Form 4473) continues to inquire potential buyers if they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or other controlled substances.”
Federal courts and some of the nation’s top lawyers concur that marijuana must lose its classification as a Schedule I restricted substance before its users can purchase a firearm.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski claimed that the Department of Justice speaks for the federal government while undermining the right of the states to make their own laws.
In a letter to US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch issued in March 2016, Murkowski — who represents the state with the greatest per capita gun ownership in the nation — requested that the US Department of Justice review the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations. On October 27, 2016, Murkowski received a letter from Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, stating that it is against the law for marijuana users to obtain firearms.
“The department is also committed to enforcing the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), which, inter alia, prohibits the sale of ‘any firearms or ammunition to any persons knowing or having reasonable cause to believe such a person…is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance,” the letter reads.
“By its explicit terms, a controlled substance for the purposes of the GCA is defined by reference to the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), and marijuana remains an illegal, controlled substance under federal law.”
As stated on the website of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Division of Statewide Services (DPS) it makes it illegal to possess a firearm or ammunition in Alaska if you are under the influence of a controlled substance (such as marijuana, depressants, stimulants, or opioids) other than what your doctor prescribes.
The department also stated vaguely that using ANY type of marijuana makes it illegal for one to own weapons and ammunition in the state of Alaska.
Due to the Alaska DPS’s conflicting statements, it’s best not to own a gun if you use marijuana in Alaska, or better yet, talk to a private lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Alaska about the legal consequences or legality of owning firearms and/or ammunition.
Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in Alaska?
Anyone 21 years of age or older who is legally allowed to own a firearm is permitted to carry it openly or covertly under Alaskan law.
There is no need for a firearms registration or permit, but there are limitations on where a firearm may be carried in general.
Places where firearms may not be carried include:
- In or around any public or private K-12 school or on a school bus without the knowledge and consent of the school’s administrator (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
- In or around a child care facility (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
- Someone else’s home without his or her specific knowledge and permission
- Any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for on-site consumption (except a restaurant, provided the person does not consume alcoholic beverages)
- A courthouse, courtroom or office of the court system or justice-related agencies
- Correctional institutions
- Domestic violence or sexual assault shelters
- Places such as hospitals, universities, gymnasiums, or private property (property owners may restrict or deny concealed carry on their premises)
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation
Owners or managers of facilities such as hospitals, universities, gyms, or private property, may impose restrictions on or outright prohibit concealed carry on the premises.
On their property, disobeying could be against trespass laws.
So before choosing whether to carry a firearm in a dispensary, please check with the owner.
Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in Alaska?
Yes, both marijuana and hemp-derived CBD oil are permitted in Alaska. When Alaska approved Ballot Measure 8 in 1998, the state’s medical marijuana program got underway. Ballot Measure 2 was approved in 2014, legalizing marijuana usage for recreational purposes.
This allowed state-licensed businesses to open marijuana shops across the state, where customers can purchase CBD oil and a number of other marijuana products.
No legal restrictions exist on selling or possessing hemp CBD oil because it is non-intoxicating and contains less than 0.3% THC.
In actuality, hemp CBD oil is regarded as an over-the-counter supplement. This makes it simple to find in a variety of physical stores.
So, there are no issues in Alaska when a CBD user owns a gun.
Can I Own a Gun if My Spouse Has A Medical Cannabis Card in Alaska?
According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety Frequently Asked Questions about Firearms, an Alaskan cannot possess firearms and ammunition in their Alaska residence if someone who has been convicted of a crime with a maximum jail sentence of more than one year also resides there.
The same page on the website directly states that marijuana users are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition in Alaska as the federal law states that using recreational or medicinal marijuana disqualifies a person from owning a firearm.
Even though medical marijuana is legal in Alaska, there is no state law that will protect a person who uses medical marijuana when owning a gun.
Based on the above information, it appears spouses of people with medical cannabis cards in Alaska can own guns as long as the cardholder doesn’t have any charges related to using marijuana and doesn’t own a gun himself. However, it’s best to consult a local lawyer before putting yourself in this situation.
Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska
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