It was a huge week for marijuana reform. New York is poised to pass a medical marijuana bill. The bill is far from perfect, but is better than nothing. Philadelphia is going to decriminalize marijuana, which is fantastic. Hillary Clinton supports letting states legalize marijuana, kind of. The United States Senate is likely to vote on a bill that would defund medical marijuana raids in medical marijuana states. And that's just a handful of the highlights that happened in the world of marijuana reform this week.
Lost in all of this news was a great development in the United States Senate where John Walsh, a Senator from Montana, introduced a bill that would stop the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives from using appropriated money to deny medical marijuana patients the right to own firearms. Medical marijuana patient rights has been something that has traditionally been considered a liberal stance, while gun rights has always been championed by conservatives. When medical marijuana patient's gun rights are involved, it becomes a bipartisan issue. Per National Journal:
Marijuana Majority spokesman Tom Angell, for his part, says the partnership isn't particularly unlikely. "Marijuana policy alone already brings together an interesting progressive-libertarian mix of strange political bedfellows," he told National Journal in an email. "When you add in gun rights, we should see a very, very interesting bipartisan result."
In my home state of Oregon, medical marijuana patients in at least two counties were denied concealed weapons permits solely because they were medical marijuana patients. A similar case is going on right now in Seattle, where a medical marijuana patient had her concealed permit application denied because she is a medical marijuana patient. What the odds are of Senator Walsh's bill passing are undetermined right now, but it's fantastic to see a United States Senator introduce a bill like this. This story is worth following.