Doctor takes on FBI, ATF after being denied second amendment rights over his legal medical cannabis use

Saturday, January 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

by: Lance D Johnson
Saturday, January 05, 2019

A Pennsylvania doctor with no criminal record was denied his right to own a firearm only because he possesses a legal medical cannabis card. Unable to properly defend himself, the 33-year-old doctor has filed a lawsuit against the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case will impact millions of medical marijuana users and gun owners across the United States.

Dr. Matthew Roman’s story began one afternoon in April of 2018. He and a friend were headed to a Philadelphia gun store named Firing Lane to shop for a pistol for home defense purposes. Dr. Roman was interested in a Smith and Wesson 638 – a .38 special, double action revolver. When he went to purchase the small six-shooter, the gun shop clerk asked Roman to answer a few questions to comply with the ATF’s 4473 form. On line 11e of the form, the buyer is asked whether he or she possesses a medical cannabis card.

After confirming he has no criminal history or history of violence, Dr. Roman answered truthfully about his medical prescription for cannabis, which is legal in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The gun store clerk told Dr. Roman that he couldn’t purchase the firearm because of his legal marijuana use.

By November, Dr. Roman sued the FBI and ATF. He claims that the government agencies are denying individuals the right to lawfully purchase firearms without providing any due process. Dr. Roman argues that “this strict, rigid, blanket prohibition violates the fundamental constitutional rights of tens of thousands of non-violent, law-abiding citizens, and thus violates the Second and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.”

Dr. Roman uses medical cannabis to help deal with traumatic experiences from the past. PTSD is a popular diagnosis that allows individuals access to legal medical marijuana. Dr. Roman also prescribes legal medical cannabis for people suffering from traumatic experiences.

There is no substantial evidence linking medical cannabis use to violence, yet marijuana users are continually denied the fundamental right to own a firearm and protect themselves. Ironically, individuals can purchase a firearm and still abuse alcohol. Worse yet, individuals can take prescription drugs that have violent side effects and still enjoy legal access to firearms.

Dr. Roman’s battle challenges longstanding laws on gun control and prohibition of marijuana

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