Blowing Smoke at the Second Amendment

Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 599

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center Student Series No. 25

11 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2021

See all articles by Helen Sudhoff

Helen Sudhoff

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: February 23, 2021

Abstract

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution codified the preexisting right to keep and bear arms, meaning the right was enshrined within the scope it was understood to have at its inception. When enacted, the Second Amendment broadly protected the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, only restricting gun ownership for certain classes of people, such as the mentally ill or felons. However, these historical restrictions never encompassed marijuana users or possessors. Quite the opposite, many of the founding fathers grew or manufactured cannabis themselves. Despite this discrepancy, the Federal Government enacted §922(g) in the Gun Control Act prohibiting gun owners and applicants who are medical marijuana patients from owning or possessing a firearm. Further, such individuals must voluntarily disclose their medical marijuana use to the government, restricting their right to keep and bear arms and implicating the Fifth Amendment’s Privilege Against Self-Incrimination. This paper will explore the consequences of the enactment and continued enforcement of §922 against an individual’s right to keep and bear arms while possessing or using medical marijuana in accordance with their state’s medical programs.

Keywords: Second Amendment, medical marijuana, restrictions, gun control, self-incrimination

Suggested Citation

Sudhoff, Helen, Blowing Smoke at the Second Amendment (February 23, 2021). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 599, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center Student Series No. 25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3791369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3791369

Helen Sudhoff (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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