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It’s illegal to possess both guns and medical marijuana in Pa. This bill would change that

Haven Daley

Pennsylvania has had legal medical marijuana since 2016 but, under the state’s Uniform Firearms Act, medical users cannot own a gun.

Dan Laughlin is trying to fix that.

The Erie Republican senator is introducing legislation to amend the act to allow users to own a firearm.

He said this is about sticking up for constitutional rights and individual freedom.

“It’s a legal product to treat symptoms with and it shouldn’t have anything to do with your Second Amendment rights,” he said.

The restrictions are not limited to Pennsylvania, and a change in the state code alone won’t change things, as federal law also prohibits cannabis users from owning a firearm.

Laughlin said he was inspired in part by a lawsuit filed by the Warren County district attorney against the federal government regarding that policy.

He said he is surprised the United States hasn’t taken steps to remove restrictions, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do something on a state level.

“I can’t change the federal firearms form, but I do have the ability to at least change how Pennsylvania does their medical program,” he said.

Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute, is against the bill, arguing that mixing guns with marijuana can be deadly.

“With no approved dosages or formulations for specific health conditions, there can be no confidence that users won’t become abusers,” he said in a statement. “Most Pennsylvanians understand it’s a dangerous thing to mix high-THC, mind-altering cannabis products (like that sold at dispensaries) with deadly firearms.”

Laughlin has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation aimed to remove restrictions on medical marijuana or legalize recreational marijuana.

He joked about effectively becoming the Republican face of cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania.

“I think that’s probably a title that I’ve earned, right?,” he said.

Ben Wasserstein