Just A Reminder: Assault Rifles Are Legal, Marijuana Isn’t
Pointing out that guns are deadlier than marijuana is about as obvious as saying snow is cold. But the federal government actually sees cannabis as more dangerous than assault rifles and other firearms. And that pretty much sums up the hypocrisy of American drug laws.
Cannabis is one of the most tightly controlled substances in the country whereas America is awash with firearms. Nobody knows exactly how many guns there are in the country, but the Congressional Research Service estimates that there are approximately 300 million firearms in a nation of 330 million people. That means there are enough guns for everyone to have one in their home, making them hands-down the deadliest household item since they are specifically made to kill (regardless of whether that be for hunting, for protection, or for mayhem).
And all that’s fine according to the US Constitution.
In contrast, federal law says it’s illegal for anyone to possess any amount of marijuana in the home, whether it be for medicinal or recreational use. Marijuana is federally prohibited even though nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose. Meanwhile, 1,715 people died in mass shootings over the last 5 years alone. That’s the total death toll for mass shootings in America, not the total number of gun-related deaths in the US. Yet killing machines are enshrined in the constitution while a potential medicine is lumped with heroin in the country’s list of dangerous substances.
Marijuana is considered so dangerous, you can actually lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to using it. According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, people who use cannabis or any other federally banned substance cannot purchase, sell or possess a firearm.
So in a country where virtually any attempt at gun control is blocked in Congress thanks to intense lobbying by the NRA, marijuana is somehow a deal-breaker. Not the “stand your ground laws” that have seen homicide rates spike in states like Florida. Not the semi-automatic weapons used in mass shootings like in Las Vegas. Not even the “bump stocks” that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatics capable of firing 100 rounds in 7 seconds.
Marijuana is the deal-breaker.
And that doesn’t look like it will change any time soon, even as other gun-control laws are rolled back. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump was praised by gun advocates for nullifying an Obama administration policy designed to prevent people with severe mental illness from owning firearms. So people with major psychological disorders can legally own firearms, but medical marijuana patients can’t. In fact, suspected terrorists on the federal no-fly list can legally own firearms, but medical marijuana patients can’t.
So, yeah, in the federal government’s eyes, marijuana is more dangerous than guns. Which means the only way to get assault rifles out of the hands of dangerous people might be to trick them into holding a joint and snapping a picture for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.