Dear Stoner: Can Medical Marijuana Patients Get Concealed-Carry Permits?

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Dear Stoner: I had a medical marijuana card but didn’t renew it. Am I now eligible for a concealed-carry permit?
Nicholas Wiggle

Dear Nick: MMJ patients are blocked from purchasing firearms, thanks to a form that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires them to fill out before buying a gun. One of the form’s questions, which asks if you are an “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” is federally binding, so it doesn’t matter that pot is legal in Colorado: If you answer “yes,” then you get denied, and if you answer “no,” you’re committing perjury. And just in case you thought this state had your back, the Colorado law for purchasing firearms takes the same stance.

And even if you owned a gun prior to becoming a patient, Colorado’s concealed-handgun permit application features another hurdle, even though marijuana is legal here. Colorado county sheriffs are responsible for reviewing concealed-carry applications, and they tend to deny applicants who admit to marijuana use because of a 2011 directive from the ATF telling legal-marijuana states to refuse to register weapons to pot users.

Still, if you’re no longer a registered MMJ patient or recreational user, or you feel comfortable lying under oath about your marijuana use on the application, then your chances of being approved are much higher. A Colorado petition was started earlier this year to prevent sheriffs from denying concealed-carry permits for pot users, but it died after failing to receive enough signatures to reach the ballot. The group organizing the petition, the Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights, says it hopes to have the resources required to get it on the November 2016 ballot. For now, though, it looks like you’ll still have to choose between marijuana and guns — or risk a felony weapons offense.

Dear Stoner: I’ve seen you review dozens of strains from dispensaries. When are you going to review some of my homegrown weed?
Dr. Herb

Dear Dr. Herb: I like the gusto, Doc. Unfortunately for you, the point of our reviews is to tell readers where they can find quality strains for purchase around town, and private growers can’t provide those for the public. You don’t see our restaurant critic reviewing your mom’s eggplant parmesan — which I’m sure is succulent and delicious — do you? That said, you’re welcome to give us some free pot. We might not review it, but you’ll get some unofficial feedback after the Christmas party.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com or call the potline at 303-293-2222.

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