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Can Arizonans Possess a Firearm and Marijuana?

Cannabis Gun Rights

Can Cannabis Users Possess a Firearm in Arizona?

Arizona’s medical marijuana patients often wonder if it’s legal for them to own and/or possess a firearm. While Arizona doesn’t have a specific law prohibiting it, the federal government does.

Arizona law says, “Persons lawfully in possession or control of controlled substances” can possess a gun.

However, since marijuana is (still) illegal at the federal level, it is illegal to possess marijuana and a firearm at the same time.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stated that any “person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”

If the Smart & Safe Arizona ballot initiative passes in 2020 it would legalize recreational cannabis for anyone 21 years of age and older. This would legalize the controlled substance in the state making it legal under Arizona law to possess both marijuana and a gun(s) because the person would be “lawfully in possession or control of controlled substances.” However, because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance and a firearm is still illegal.


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