Jan 22 2014

Illinois Gun Confiscation: Your Weed or Your Gun

weed and gun

Illinois state officials have unveiled a new proposal regarding medical marijuana – that residents choose between their weed or their guns. Most of the rules made public earlier this week pertain to how a patient may qualify for medical marijuana, such as proving a diagnosis of at least one of 41 “debilitating medical conditions,” such as HIV, cancer, hepatitis C, or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Other regulations include the process of obtaining a medical marijuana photo ID, which includes fingerprinting and a background check. The identification card would cost $150 a year. The fingerprinting is $30 to $60, and must be paid by the applicant. Individuals carrying drug charges are barred from obtaining an ID, unless their charges include purchasing pot for a medical condition.

However, hidden among all the other rules and regulations is item 23 of Section 946.230:

That the applicant understands that a qualifying patient or designated caregiver with a current Firearm Owners Identification Card or a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit who is approved for a registry identification card shall be in violation of and may not possess firearms under relevant state and federal law. As such, registered qualifying patients and designated caregivers are not eligible for a Firearm Owners Identification Card or a Firearm Concealed Carry License and may be subject to administrative proceedings by the Illinois State Police if they do not voluntarily surrender such card or license.

Voluntarily surrendering one’s FID or concealed carry permit does, of course, include “voluntarily” surrendering one’s firearms. It is also – and especially – applicable to veterans. Possessing a firearm illegally in the state of Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison, with an addition two years of probation and up to $2500 in fines. If an individual is found to be concealed carrying while also in the possession of a medical marijuana card, it could be considered a Class 4 felony (Sec. 24-1.6), punishable by up to three years in prison.

Police officers, firemen, and school bus and commercial drivers are prohibited from using medical marijuana.

Illinois is one of 20 states to legalize medical marijuana, and aims to also have the strictest program. The Illinois Department of Public Health is accepting public comments on the proposed regulations until February 7th. Instructions for submitting your comments can be found here.

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