The law enforcement agency made the claim in a May 30 announcement posted by its St. Paul office. It reiterated that the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 "prohibits any person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance … from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition."
"Regardless of the recent changes in Minnesota law related to the legalization of marijuana, an individual who is a current user … is still federally defined as an 'unlawful user' of a controlled substance," the ATF said. Its statement followed the North Star State legalizing marijuana, the 23rd state to do so.
Under a law signed by incumbent Gov. Tim Walz on May 30, marijuana use and possession will be decriminalized beginning Aug. 1. Minnesotans aged 21 and older can grow their cannabis at home without any risk of punishment from the state. Moreover, the state will also begin expunging marijuana convictions from Minnesotans' records in August.
The law signed by Walz pertains to recreational marijuana; medical cannabis had been legal in Minnesota for almost a decade now. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura was also present during the signing, alongside his wife Terry. The retired professional wrestler recounted how the drug helped stop his wife's seizures about a decade ago.
"We didn't want any families to go through what the [former] first lady and I went through," the erstwhile governor said. "Now, today, they will never have to."
A June 4 piece on Offgrid Survival pointed out: "Even though the recreational use of marijuana is being legalized in states throughout the U.S., federal law maintains its classification as a Schedule I substance. This means that people caught using marijuana – even in states where it's legal – could face criminal charges under federal law." (Related: Discrimination by medicine? Cannabis users have no Second Amendment rights, court rules.)
The ATF announcement indeed noted that marijuana has, under federal law, "no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Drugs such as heroin, LSD and ecstasy share the same Schedule I classification under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Moreover, the agency emphasized that "federal law does not provide any exception allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes."
Jeff Reed, ATF acting special agent in charge of the St. Paul Field Division, said: "Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition. As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the state of Minnesota."
However, pro-Second Amendment activists did not take too kindly to the ATF's announcement. Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Vice President Rob Doar expressed concern about the underlying implications of the agency's announcement.
"The fact that they sent out the notice, I think, is cause for some raised eyebrows," he told CBS News. According to Doar, the ATF could have easily kept quiet and assured citizens that no enforcement will occur even though marijuana users owning firearms is illegal under federal law.
"This clarification by the ATF has far-reaching consequences – potentially impacting thousands of people residing in the 23 states where recreational cannabis is legal, along with those in states that permit its medical use," the Offgrid Survival piece noted.
"This latest attack on liberty by the ATF reflects an unjust interpretation of federal law that disregards the evolving landscape of state marijuana legislation. It raises concerns among constitutional conservatives and state rights activists who believe in protecting individual rights – including the right to bear arms – even for those who choose to use marijuana under state laws."
Watch Teddy Daniels and Bob Roche arguing for the abolition of the ATF below.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.