Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Marijuana & Guns

I'm skeptical that marijuana users should be gun owners, but for the same reason that I am skeptical that heavy drinkers should be gun owners. My experience over the years is that moderate potheads are pretty rare--unlike people who drink a beer or a glass of wine at dinner. This is something that many of my former pothead friends also tell me.  YMMV.  As marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational uses, there has been a question whether this makes them ineligible to purchase a gun.  We all know the Obama Administration is pro-pot (aren't all progressive Democrats?) so this 11/22/16 The Cananbist article is surprising:
The federal government just doubled down on its efforts to keep guns away from cannabis patients and legal adult-use marijuana consumers.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has long had an existing ban on gun sales to anyone who uses marijuana. The ban was upheld in a controversial 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in August; a medical marijuana patient in Nevada said the ban violated the Second Amendment, but the 9th Circuit unanimously agreed that pot and other drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Now the ATF is releasing a revised version of Form 4473 — the federal Firearms Transaction Record and considered “ATF’s most important form,” according to an ATF representative — that adds a new warning statement reminding applicants that marijuana is still considered federally illegal despite state laws allowing medical marijuana or recreational use. In other words: The ATF doesn’t want gun sellers or buyers to mistake the increasingly common state-legal cannabis for the nonexistent federally legal marijuana.
So does Obama actually run the federal government anymore or is this just a way to reduce gun ownership?


  1. As far as I can tell, pot use doesn't cause mental changes like getting drunk does for some people. If anything, it tends to make them less likely to have a temper tantrum.

    A long time ago, Car & Driver Magazine replicated the drunk driving track test with pot. Some of the drivers actually improved their results, which was attributed to a lessening of driving anxiety that some people have. Unlike the drinking test program, no one failed any of the tests. They finally stopped at the point that the participants couldn't find the car after leaving the track office. IIRC, they were surprised at the results, after hearing so much propaganda against drugs.

    I've heard that Silicon Valley would not have been so successful, especially the software side, if not for copious quantities of pot. Living and working in the Valley since the mid-70's, I'd have to say there is a fair amount of truth in that.

    I react to it just like tobacco. Gives me a headache being around it.

  2. Will: I remember the Car & Driver test. Marijuana has long-term effects like schizophrenia. But it attracts the wrong sort of people.

    I have heard the "pot makes me creative" stuff for a long time even when I worked in Silicon Valley. The creative ones I knew were not pot smokers. I fear that those who were might have been better without.

  3. Clayton, I forgot you were here in the Valley earlier.

    Yeah, that's always been the question, does it help, or not? One of the interesting points I have noticed is that even the creative users of it struggle to stay away from it.
    It does appear to be addictive to some extent, and I don't know how that works. Some use it every day, and some just occasionally, like at parties, or so I hear. One I know is on his second start-up as founder.
    The reality is that any drug seems to have some sort of effect on the mind of some people, no matter what type it is, even when that is not the intent of the drug.

    Still and all, I'd much rather have people using pot, rather than drinking. At least one of my grandmothers was an alcoholic, a stepmother was one, a long term girlfriend, a friend turned into a wino, and I've nearly been killed by others on multiple occurrences. My mother was a heavy drinker until she got religion (daughter of the alky). My sister adopted twin infants from Russia, that turned out to have fetal/alcohol syndrome. (Now I understand how/why Russia is so screwed up.)
    The damage done by drinkers throughout history is staggering. Alcohol seems to BE an integral part of human history, sadly.

  4. Will: If there was some way to uninvent the yeast organism, it would be a great win for mankind, except for losing bread.