top of page
  • Christopher D.

Can Marijuana Patients Use Guns? Navigating the Intersection of Gun Ownership and Marijuana Use

In recent years, the evolving landscape of marijuana legalization across the United States has brought about a complex web of legal questions. One particularly challenging issue arises when we explore the intersection of marijuana use and gun ownership. This dilemma is especially pertinent in states like Arkansas, where medical marijuana is legal, but the federal stance on cannabis remains unchanged.

This blog post delves into the questions and uncertainties surrounding gun ownership and marijuana use in Arkansas, offering insights into the legal complexities and possible consequences. We'll also underline the benefits of obtaining a medical marijuana card, which remains a reliable and well-regulated option for individuals seeking marijuana-based relief for qualifying medical conditions.

The Arkansas Conundrum

Marijuana's legal status in Arkansas exemplifies the broader conundrum faced by many states. While Arkansas has a medical marijuana program, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, creating a rift between state and federal law.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is responsible for regulating the purchase and possession of firearms in the United States. According to federal law, individuals who use marijuana, regardless of their state's legalization status, are barred from purchasing and possessing guns and ammunition.

The key issue is that federal law often trumps state law, creating a clash when state laws permit marijuana use. This clash becomes increasingly relevant in states with legal marijuana programs.

The Legal Quandary

The legal quandary becomes evident in the fine print of the law. On a federal level, "controlled substance users" are prohibited from owning firearms. This category includes individuals who use marijuana, which presents a significant problem in states like Arkansas, where medical marijuana is legally available.

While the federal government's stance on marijuana use and gun ownership remains stringent, there have been fluctuations in enforcement priorities over the years. Former President Barack Obama's administration announced that the Justice Department wouldn't interfere with states that legalized marijuana. The Trump administration reversed this policy, and the Biden administration has yet to return to the non-interference guidance of the Obama era.

In Arkansas, medical marijuana has offered patients relief for various health conditions since its legalization. However, the uncertainty surrounding gun ownership and marijuana use has significant implications for residents.

The ATF's Position

While the ATF has made no specific public statements regarding Arkansas, their stance on the issue is clear and unwavering: marijuana users, even those who use it for medical purposes in states with legal programs, are subject to gun ownership restrictions. The mere presence of a medical marijuana card could flag an individual in the federal system, potentially jeopardizing their ability to purchase or possess firearms legally.

Legal challenges related to this issue are not unique to Arkansas; they have arisen in various states where marijuana has been legalized. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has, in some cases, defended the prohibitions on marijuana users possessing guns, citing concerns about the impairment of an individual's ability to handle firearms.

The absence of uniformity in legal interpretations creates uncertainty for individuals in states with medical marijuana programs. They must grapple with conflicting laws, and in the absence of clear guidance, they face a complex legal landscape.

A Matter of Changing Views

Public attitudes toward marijuana usage have evolved significantly in recent years. Surveys have indicated strong support for both recreational and medical marijuana, with a majority of Americans favoring legalization. However, some U.S. lawmakers remain unconvinced, resulting in ongoing policy debates.

In light of the legal complexities surrounding marijuana use and gun ownership in Arkansas, opting for a medical marijuana card remains a pragmatic choice for individuals with qualifying medical conditions. Let's explore the reasons why obtaining a medical marijuana card is a sensible option:

  • Access to Expert Guidance: With a medical marijuana card, patients gain access to dedicated healthcare professionals who can provide expert guidance tailored to their specific medical condition. This guidance ensures that patients make informed decisions about strains, dosages, and consumption methods.

  • Rigorous Product Testing: Medical marijuana programs typically involve rigorous product testing for safety and quality. Patients can rest assured that the products they receive have undergone meticulous examination and adhere to strict standards.

  • Legal Protection: Possessing a medical marijuana card offers legal protection for patients. It ensures that individuals can access medical cannabis within the boundaries of state laws, without fear of legal repercussions. This protection is particularly valuable in a state like Arkansas, where the interaction of state and federal laws creates ambiguity.

  • Diverse Product Selection: Medical dispensaries often offer a diverse selection of products and strains, catering to various medical conditions and symptoms. This diversity empowers patients to find the most suitable products for their individual needs.

  • Controlled Dosage: One of the key benefits of medical marijuana is the control it provides over dosage. Patients can fine-tune their treatment to achieve the desired therapeutic effects, promoting a better quality of life.

  • Potential Financial Benefits: In some states, medical marijuana patients may benefit from tax benefits or exemptions. These financial incentives can make medical marijuana a more economically attractive option for patients seeking relief.


The intersection of gun ownership and marijuana use in Arkansas presents a challenging and ambiguous legal landscape. As the legal debate continues, patients with qualifying medical conditions should explore the benefits of obtaining a medical marijuana card.

This approach ensures reliable access to marijuana-based relief and expert guidance, all within the boundaries of state law. Amid shifting legal perspectives, the medical marijuana program in Arkansas remains a secure and well-regulated option for those seeking therapeutic benefits.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!

Medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas, and we can help you renew your medical card TODAY! If you qualify for your renewal, give us a call and we can help!

You need your medical card to access any of Arkansas’ medical dispensaries. Not to worry, because it is now easier than ever to renew your card with Arkansas Marijuana Card!

Telemedicine makes it easy for you to renew your card from the comfort of your own home!

Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to get started today!


Doctors Who Care

Relief You Can Trust

Here at Arkansas Marijuana Card, we aim to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (844)-249-8714 today, or book an appointment here.

31 views0 comments


bottom of page