Hawaii Medical Marijuana Patients can’t have Guns
HONOLULU – Police in Hawaii have sent out letters advising any medical marijuana patients who own guns that they must turn them in to police. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that owners have 30 days to surrender their guns voluntarily.
The Honolulu Police Department’s new chief of police Susan Ballard signed the letter that stated “you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms. Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition.” The letter also quotes Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 134-7 (a), which says that “No person who is a fugitive from justice or is a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition therefor.” The Honolulu Police Department have been mailing the disqualification letters since the beginning of the year.
The letters also reference an open letter that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives published in 2011 that said regardless of state laws, no person using medical marijuana could own a gun. The ATF letters said that “Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.”
The police know where to send the letters to by searching the state’s database. Records are kept on both medical marijuana card holders and gun purchases, and the databases were crossed checked to obtain the addresses. Hawaii may be the first legal marijuana state to send out notices. The letters state that a clearance letter from a physician is required to have any guns returned from the police department or to apply for gun permits in the future.