Now that Washington and Colorado have gone over to the side of legalizing marijuana, is this the start of many more states to follow? Is this the sign of the future? It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, it appears to be a direction some states have decided to head. So how does this impact Gun Laws?
Great question and this is something that is going to come up many more times in the courts as well as play a role in our lives. Take for example the case of in New Orleans where the Supreme Court refused to strike a law that makes possessing a gun and illegal drugs a felony. In Louisiana, possessing both carries a minimum 5 year sentence and it is a felony if you are caught with both on you at the same time.
It is particularly interesting in this particular case because it was more similar to the average person than someone who is a heavy drug user and was caught carrying an illegal weapon. Those cases are easy and most people would agree they should be locked up if this is the case as they represent a significant danger to society for both reasons. This case was different. The person in question (his girlfriend) was pulled over for a broken tail light and the police found one marijuana cigar in his backpack and a gun on the floor, which was legal. This isn’t the description of someone who sounds incredibly dangerous and should be swept off the streets.
But there is a law on the books in Louisiana that says if you are in possession of both, it elevates everything and now you are considered to have committed a felony with a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole. The Supreme Court upheld this was a good law and should remain on the books. Maybe not their intent when they wrote the law but it is the law. So with this being upheld, Rico Webb would be headed to jail for a felony charge.
What do you think? As I mentioned in the beginning, this will probably be happening more often in states that have legal marijuana laws and gun laws. How do they work together…or do they? What should the states do about their gun laws to reflect the issue if both the gun and the marijuana are legal but when combined, could represent a much more dangerous situation? These are questions that have just started to be asked and the answers aren’t as straightforward as many might think. Share your thoughts…what do you believe is the direction the law should head? It will certainly be something that gets discussed, debated, and voted on today and in the future.