Hawaii — The Hypocrisy State
In case you missed it, the Honolulu Police Department recently sent letters to registered medical marijuana users who are also registered firearm owners informing them they had 30 days to surrender their firearms. The combination of the two, according to Honolulu PD, is not compatible under Hawaiian law. While the PD has halted the program and it is currently “under review”, this brings up some very serious considerations for all of us.
First of course is the complete farce of rationalization and legality behind this effort, which Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard denies ever approving, even though the surrender letters bear her signature.
A little background: At the state level, Hawaii approved medical marijuana use but requires all participants to register with the state. Hawaii also requires all firearms to be registered and prospective buyers to get a permit in order to purchase a firearm. Hawaii also criminalizes firearms if: “… a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition.” Hawaii is notoriously anti-firearm. The state has not issued a single conceal carry permit in years, and since they are only good for one year, it’s safe to assume there aren’t any left. The state is also anti (current) Federal government since it is not controlled by their preferred political party.
At the Federal level, ATF has long held marijuana to be an illegal drug, regardless of whether individual states allow it for medical or recreational use. In 2011, the ATF released an open letter to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) that states, in part: “Marijuana is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I controlled substance, and there are no exceptions in Federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medical purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law…” The latest reinforcement of this came on the new Form 4473 used to purchase a firearm from a FFL which added an explanation to the question “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” The new section states: “Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.” It’s important to note that while the ATF blocks new purchases of firearms for marijuana usage, they have never gone after those who already possess firearms.
With all this under our belt, let the hypocrisy games being. Hawaii eschews the Federal government by legalizing medical marijuana use. Hawaii embraces the Federal government by saying you can’t possess a firearm if you are prohibited under Federal law. Hawaii further embraces the Federal government by taking the warning on the new ATF Form 4473 and the 2011 Open Letter as license to shun the Federal government by using it to strip state residents of the Federal Second Amendment rights because it conflicts with a medical benefit Hawaii legalized for their residents. That has got to be the most INSANE circular logic I’ve ever seen in my life!!
Hawaii isn’t the first state to try to strip Second Amendment rights of medical marijuana users, but due to their combination of mandatory state firearms and medical marijuana registries, they are the first to send out surrender notices. Other states are already issuing notices through their police departments quoting Federal firearms laws prohibiting marijuana users — medical or recreational — from possessing firearms and ammunition, that their residents are not permitted to have them. It’s only a matter of time before anyone who simply possesses marijuana will have their Second Amendment rights stripped under state law, in the very same states where they are legally allowed to have medical and / or recreational use of marijuana.
You’ve probably hear the phrase ‘Registration always leads to confiscation’ when it comes to firearms. Well guess what, here’s a prime example. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the you’ve got an existing database of firearm owners and another one of marijuana users, you can compare the two pretty quickly. Despite the lofty assurances of confidentiality, you know if it’s captured for one purpose, it’s going to be used for something entirely different at some point.
Regardless of your position on medical or recreational marijuana, this should scare the crap out of you. While simultaneously backing state rights and federal preeminence, this is just another creative way for gun control advocates to achieve their goal of eliminating your Second Amendment rights.
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