Marijuana Use, Prohibited Persons & Explosives : ATF Comments

Marijuana Use, Prohibited Persons & Explosives : ATF Comments
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

Washington. DC – -( ATF has received a number of inquiries regarding the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes and its applicability to Federal explosives laws.

A number of States have passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, and some of these States issue a card authorizing such use. Federal law under 18 U.S.C. § 842(d)(5) prohibits any person from knowingly distributing explosive materials to any individual who is “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).”

Further, § 842(i)(3) prohibits any person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 802)) “to ship or transport any explosive in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or to receive or possess any explosive which has been shipped or transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.”

Marijuana is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I controlled substance, and there are no exceptions in Federal law for marijuana used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law.

The Federal government does not recognize marijuana as a medicine as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and lacks an accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision. Therefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal or recreational purposes, is an unlawful user of a controlled substance and is prohibited by Federal law from receiving or possessing explosive materials that have been shipped or transported in the United States.

Such persons should answer “yes” to question 14.b. on ATF Form 5400.13/5400.16 (June 2012), Application for Explosives License or Permit and “yes” to question 19 on ATF Form 5400.28, Employee Possessor Questionnaire (February 2013).

Further, if you are aware that a potential transferee, or an employee or responsible person taking possession of explosives on behalf of a transferee, has been issued a card authorizing the possession and/or use of marijuana under State law, then you may not transfer explosive materials to the person, even if the person possesses a Federal explosives license or permit.

  • 45 thoughts on “Marijuana Use, Prohibited Persons & Explosives : ATF Comments

    1. Hmmmnnn…I may get a duplicate of some of this comment because Ai was halfway through itg when my computer went nuts. Oh well, here’s a recap: There is a YUGE legal problem with the federal laws against marijuana, and that problem is probably the reason the feds have not really challenged the states and taken the issue to the SCOTUS-they know they’ll lose. The fact is that the federal government has NO legal constitutional authority to ban any drugs, for any reason. When they wanted to ban alcohol, they went about it in the required legal manner by passing a constitutional amendment (later repealed) to GIVE them the authority to do so. No such authority exists for marijuana, and in the absence of any specific constitutional authority for the federal government to regulate pot, that right, under the 10th Amendment, devolves to, and ONLY to, the individual states. They all know this. So, in fact, the state granting someone the right to use marijuana, does in fact, make it legal use. For that reason, you should NOT answer “Yes” on the ATF form’s question about whether you are an illegal drug user.
      Second, Robert, you contend that answering “No” would deprive one of his gun rights, but in fact, if you are a legal marijuana user, the federal government has ALREADY deprived you (or tried to) of your right to own a gun. So if you follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and “just say No” on the form, the feds will have to try to cross-reference your permit at the state level with their database and you may never get noticed at all, thereby KEEPING your gun rights intact.

    2. The ATF form only asks you to report if you use a prohibited drug ILLEGALLY. I don’t see how the court got around the fact that those with medical marijuana cards or prescriptions are clearly using the drug LEGALLY. Therefore they are not obligated to answer the question “Yes.”

      1. Because it is still illegal on a federal level no matter what the state says. Federally it is not recognized as having any medicinal value, thus “medical use” is not applicable and you must answer “Yes” on the ATF form as ANY use is federally illegal.

    3. It is complete hawg warsh that pot has not been legalized after all these years of people smoking it. Why would America want to make something legal that would put a big dent in the Mexican cartels profit margin? Sarcasm. Could you imagine the money generated from pot sales tax and how that could help pay off our debt? Anyone that has lived and been around some drunk asshole versus someone who smoked some weed knows that there is a night and day difference. It is a no brainer who a person would rather be around if they had a choice. And to compare pot to heroin as a category 1 drug is preposterous. Come on already, it is 2016. I have never seen, heard or read about people over dosing on pot, but people have overdosed on Aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, etc. I am not saying it has not happened but I have never heard about it. Currently I have an older sister in the ICU for alcohol. She lives in another state (good thing for my brother in law) but from what I have been told is that she was having seizures from alcohol withdrawals. So they put her in a drug induced coma until she can be woke up without having seizures. Damn alcohol. You can bet your bottom dollar I would rather her smoke pot and get the munchies instead of the BS she is causing within the family. Each to there own but pot is about the least deadliest drug on this Earth. Cigarettes cause cancer but they can be bought all day long and they’re also the true gateway drug.
      @Wild Bill I am sure you did see some dirty crappy places while you were arresting some pot smokers but can you really say pot was the mitigating factor for their crappy dirty houses or were they also doing meth, maybe taking opiates, have a mental illness or they were dirty people before they became pot heads? Only you would know those answers. And I surely don’t want to get in a debate about weed with you or anyone. I grew up in the 70’s, 80’s and started settling down around the mid to late 90’s and I saw a lot of screwed up people during those times. I can say I have never had anyone be hostile toward me while they were high on pot. Back in the day there was a saying that God made grass and man made booze, who do you trust? Enough said and everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

      1. Unfortunately pot causes cancer. Some of the same compounds found in tobacco are found in marijuana. Alcohol is also a naturally occurring byproduct of free floating yeast converting sugars in a liquid (“God made pot but man made alcohol” is both false and misleading) so we need to stop the semantics. Both alcohol and marijuana have the same capabilities of addiction…. one is more of a physical dependency and the other is more psychological, yet they both pose risks to addictive personality people and any statement otherwise is disingenuous. Pot affects fine motor skills, try threading a needle…. you’ll be much more focused on the task (to the point of tunnel vision) but the task will be more difficult. Empirical testing has been done on this… Mythbusters did driving tests and others have been performed with building an object, following instruction, completing tasks on time, etc and all show marked differences between stoned and sober. Yes, there are functional stoners the same as functional alcoholics but would you risk your life trying to figure out which is which when you hand them a gun?

        So let’s get to the root of the issue.

        The government needs to step back and stop telling us what we can or can not do with our bodies, period. Until legislation to do this is passed the people are left with civil disobedience (ie smoking even though it is functionally illegal). But you must understand, civil disobedience is still breaking the law and if you are forced to endure the consequences then it is small comfort that “I should be allowed to!” is your only defense.

        Smoking or partaking of any THC products is federally illegal in the US. Therefore you are in violation of the law if you answer “NO” on ATF form 4473 question 11C. This is not opinion, this is the law. If you don’t like it, change it…. but don’t bitch and moan that you have a right to break the law and then whine when you get caught. What should be isn’t always what is, we have to deal with what is and work to make it what it should be.

        1. @Robert A lot of things cause cancer. A lot of them are even allowed in your food by the FDA. Just go lookup all those harmful food preservatives found in the food you buy at the grocery store and consume. How about those fancy pesticides sprayed on your food brought to you by those wonderful people at Monsanto. You are worried about pot smoking causing cancer but not about all the poisons being added to your food from companies like Monsanto who are also genetically modifying them aka screwing with nature.

          You do realize that the even though the government keeps telling you there are no medicinal uses for Marijuana, they actually have a patent on it for medicinal purposes.

          The Department of Health and Human Services issued in 2003 patent number: 6,630,507 Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

          So we have a federal government who blatantly says that even though Marijuana is a schedule 1 substance with no medicinal purpose that cannabis actually is a medicine.

          Haha damn, we Americans sure like being conned and screwed over as long as its by corrupt federal and state governments waving the flag.

          1. @TxTruth I pointed out that it causes cancer to shine a light past the “It’s a natural product so it isn’t harmful!” cry that usually comes in a discussion about pot (reference the comments about alcohol). There are many other things that are approved by the government that are just as or more harmful, it was not my intent to imply that pot was harmful and that’s why it was banned. I firmly believe that tobacco and alcohol producers were the impetus for such a draconian classification for marijuana, but I have no proof of this.

            As for the patents, etc, I was not arguing if there were or weren’t medicinal values. The facts are that the government refuses to acknowledge medicinal value to the plant, therefore it can justify keeping it at the top of the classification. As long as they continue this the gun owning populace MUST be aware that state allowance does not trump federal law disallowing it. I pointed out that to use the excuse “I should be allowed to” will be cold comfort when slapped with a felony for violating a federal law, which would then strip 2nd Amendment rights. I believe I even stated that the government needs to step back and stop telling us what we can and can’t do with our own bodies.

            I’m uniquely placed in the discussion of this article. I’m a WA state resident who voted in support of legalized recreational cannabis (keep the government OUT of my body!). However, I do NOT condone its use while handling a firearm just the same as I do NOT condone the use of alcohol while handling a firearm. I am also a disabled vet who can not utilize any of the cannabis products legal in my state to alleviate pain on threat of losing my federal VA benefits (periodic UA’ s) even though the VA has me on morphine, tramadol, lorazepam, naproxen, and gabapentin for pain management. I have family members whose lives have been destroyed by addiction to alcohol and marijuana, so I know how addicting it can be for some people, and I have family members that have smoked it daily for 40+ years with little physical affect.

            In case you were wondering….. yes, I will support our flag waiving government as I also try to change it through grassroots action, petition, and vote. I may not like everything it does or has been allowed to do, but it is currently the best we have until we make it better ourselves.

    4. @BinIll, Ok, I re-read the thread, and here are excerpts:
      1. “you really are obtuse aren’t you Wild Bill?”;
      2. “You are getting quite emotional and immature,…”;
      3. “…there is no hope for you.”;
      4. “Are you really that much of a hypocrite?”;
      5. “And what the hell does “leave out something experiential” even mean?”; and
      6. “Do you simply spew your own opinions as fact?”
      Well, that is the record. Simply stating your case? Maybe your cognitive dissonance is showing.

        1. Even though both are taxonomically cannabis, hemp is not the same as marijuana that one smokes. There is no “high” from hemp and it was/still is grown for fiber production. This is not an apples to apples comparison.

    5. @BinILL, I have never had so little emotion attached to a conversation as I have had with you. I think that it is just the other way around, you are getting upset, and the evidence of your emotional up set is that you are devolving into petty insults because I won’t agree with you. I think that you should put your feet up, and have a hit or two from the old bong, and you know, relax. Just let the world go by.

      1. Your cognitive dissonance is showing. You are the one with the petty insults, go back and read the thread. I am simply stating my case and replying to your collectivist views.

    6. I am not a marijuana smoker but I do believe alcohol has killed millions of people in the last hundred years in one way or another. Now I’m sure marijuana use has killed people but I can’t believe the numbers are anywhere near alcohol. Just my opinion.

    7. You give up your 2’nd Amendment Rights to own a firearm and ammunition for self defense, for a Medical Marijuana Card!!!!!!!!! I would rather be “DEAD” than give up my rights to own a firearm, if you give up your guns, your “DEAD” anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS. Ask me how I really feel????????? HA!!!!!!

      1. The point isn’t choosing one or the other, the point is the so-called “War on some drugs” is illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and anathema to anyone who believes in freedom. Anyone who defends the right to keep and bear arms should also be demanding the immediate end of this insane war on drugs.

        1. @BinIL, I’ve heard these same arguments since I was in HS. These arguments sound good in print but leave out something experiential. I think that if you are looking for allies to support your pot use, you are in the wrong shop.

          1. So you are telling me that a website devoted to personal freedoms, the freedom to keep and bear arms in particular is nothing more than a den of totalitarians? Is that your argument? Are you really that much of a hypocrite?

            And what the hell does “leave out something experiential” even mean? Have you not done any research into this topic? Do you simply spew your own opinions as fact?

            1. @Bin Ill, I am not sure if this website is devoted to personal freedoms. I think that Ammoland is more narrowly structured than “personal freedoms”. I am not making any argument, opposing or supporting. So how could I be a hypocrite, with this obvious lack of advocacy either way?
              Actually I have done a certain modicum of original research by arresting several marijuana intoxicated persons, and my observations of their houses, living situations, clothing, etc are what I mean by your arguments sound good in print, but leave out something experiential.
              So don’t get wrapped so tight, smoke up and unwind a little.

            2. Well, you’re experience is far different from mine. All of the pot smoker’s I know are highly paid professionals who live in well kept homes, have careers and don’t lay around like a high school kid living in his parent’s basement.

              If you can’t see how all freedoms are inter-related, then there is no hope for you.

            3. @BinILL, No hope for me. That sounds like an amateurish attempt at declaring a win and disengaging fast. As to “All of the pot smoker’s I know are highly paid professionals who live in well kept homes, have careers and…” Sound like smoking pot on a sustained basis is a common denominator for success. Maybe it should be required from the first grade on because we do want our children to be successful.

            4. Wow, you really are obtuse aren’t you Wild Bill? Never declared victory, only made a simple statement that you just don’t seem to get.

              Then you offered your example of lazy pot smokers and I replied with my experience. But I guess in your world I am not allowed to do that. You are getting quite emotional and immature, are you sure you can hold up?

            5. @Wild Bill, Answer this. How many people does alcohol kill every year in America vs marijuana?

              If you were as smart and educated as you think you are, you would know that the drug war is an utter failure. It wasn’t even Nixon’s idea but rather the UN’s and since its declaration by Nixon in America, it has been a failure from the get go. Drugs are more available than ever before. Sounds like the drug war is working alright haha, depending on who you ask. The control freak government and law enforcement like to keep it illegal because its just another thing they can use to bust you for and make money with off of you. Who benefits from it being illegal. Federeal, State and Local governments as well as the prison industry.

              How about this. Back then leading up to prohibition, the government had to actually make a new amendment to prohibit alcohol. With drugs they didn’t even go that far. What happened after they prohibited alcohol? Oh yeah the mob and organized crime gained power from it. Sort of like the drug cartels today in Mexico. If you watched the movie Sicario (which is an accurate representation of how the US govt is involved in the drug business) and paid attention to what the movie was really about, you would know that the Feds are the ones actually running the drug game and when the cartel bosses get out of line, they take them out.

              But I guess you are fine with people using these dangerous big pharma drugs which are many times more harmful and dangerous than that evil plant called marijuana. Big pharma is the king of all drug cartels. You just some paranoid fool who has bought the lie that was fed to you by the government from propaganda films such as Reefer Madness. You are worried about medical marijuana users who own guns but not about gun owners who use anti-depressant drugs made by big pharma??? Get a clue.

            6. @TX Truth, In my debate with BinILL, he was so ineffectual, that I did not even have to take a position. As to you, I don’t think that, “you would know that the drug war is an utter failure.” is the measure of smart or educated. If you want to make me the issue, then what ever will we do? I know, lets match degrees and accomplishments. I’ll go first. BCT and AIT, Ft Leonard Wood. OCS Ft Benning. OBC Combat Engineer, Ft. Belvior. OAC Combat Engineer Ft. Belvior. Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavonworth. So now it is your turn. What is your alma mater?
              Oh, and all that guessing that you do…are just your imagination, not facts.

            1. @Wild Bill Yet with all your education and degrees you still couldn’t or refused to answer how many deaths marijuana causes each year vs alcohol, the latter being something that can be bought at most grocery stores and gas stations.

              You didn’t even acknowledge how dangerous big pharma prescription drug use was so let me set you straight on that. They are responsible for over 100,000 deaths a year. You know a good number of these recent mass shooters have been on those big pharma anti-depressants. Funny how the media blames the gun and makes no mention of the meds they were using.

              All your degrees don’t mean a damn thing if you have no common sense and are another compartmentalized government programmed drone who knows how to say “yes sir” and just follows orders and asks no questions. So no, its still your turn “smart” guy. Go do some research and tell me how dangerous prescription drugs are as well alcohol compared to marijuana, that is of course if you can break free of that false paradigm in which you believe. Until you can acknowledge that fact that marijuana is virtually harmless compared to prescription Meds and alcohol, your just blowing smoke out your ass.

    8. What about all the “pain Killing” schedule one drugs? You gonna strip a load of our veterans of their 2nd Amendment rights? There was NO EXCUSE to put MJ on the list as a schedule ONE drug in the first place except some liberal with his nose in the wrong spot didn’t like it. WHY are they NOT throwing the shrill Hag HIllary in jail for violating the “No Private Server” rule and posting Secret information to people NOT authorized to receive it? HER violations of law have put ALL Americans in danger.

    9. Can a person with 1, 2 or 3 DUI’s still buy a gun? In NE. The 1st should be a felony but it’s not nor is the 2nd. Let’s give them a card so they will not drive ever? Same song different drug, ever see someone smoke pot, get loud, stupid, and want to start a fight!

    10. This has to be one of the most hotly contested topics i have ever seen. Most people, or at least the most vocal ones, seem to think that this is ridiculous. Going so far as to compare it to alcohol. I follow the letter of the law and have no desire to see anyone with a marijuana card being able to buy a firearm. It just goes to show how much intrusion liberal thinking has encroached on our society. The plain truth is that marijuana effects the fine motor skills and reaction times of the individual using it. The key ingredient of marijuana stays in your system far beyond the day of ingestion, sometimes as much as a month or longer. Over prolonged periods of use it is known to effect the brain and motor skills. We need to keep fighting to keep it a schedule 1 drug.

      1. Mike aside from having no idea of what you are talking about, I see that you are also a fine little totalitarian who has no problem ordering other people around. You are no different than the anti gun people, kindly sell you guns and go away, you have no business here.

          1. You need to go away too, you are no friend of the 2nd or liberty. Why did you automatically assume that I 1 Use drugs, 2 lie on 4473 form and 3 even own any guns? Are you really that stupid? The fact of the matter is, you either believe in freedom and liberty or you do not. You and Mike clearly do not, you are no different that the gun grabbers and, apparently, you are too blind to see it. What a good little useful idiot and totalitarian you are! I am sure Stalin would be proud of you!

          2. You need to go away too, you are no friend of the 2nd either. You assume I 1 use drugs, 2 lie on 4473 3 even own any guns. You are no different than the gun grabbers, and you are too blind to see it. You either believe in freedom, liberty and the founding ideals of this country or you do not. Both you and Mike clearly do not, simply a couple of Fudds.

        1. @Bill in Il, Having read Mike’s post, I don’t see that he has “no idea” what he is talking about. How do you get to that conclusion? Mike says that he follows tie law what is “…a fine little totalitarian…” about that. Not saying that you are wrong, yet. I just would like to read the logic that gets you to those conclusions. As to the go away part … I won’t even address how wrong that is.

          1. “The plain truth is that marijuana effects the fine motor skills and reaction times of the individual using it. The key ingredient of marijuana stays in your system far beyond the day of ingestion, sometimes as much as a month or longer. Over prolonged periods of use it is known to effect the brain and motor skills. We need to keep fighting to keep it a schedule 1 drug.”

            The only thing true in that entire rant is the fact that weed stays in the system for up to 6 weeks.It does not effect fine motor skills or reaction time, It is not known to effect the brain and motor skills, it is not addictive. Keeping it a schedule one drug and denying research into its potential benefits is nothing more than draconian. Mike is a guy demanding the government keep their hands off his precious firearms while at the same time advocating violence, imprisonment and huge expenses for anyone caught with a natural plant. How anyone can claim they believe in freedom, liberty and the founding principles of this country while at the same time claiming the right to violently raid people’s homes, destroy their property, lock them up and even kill his fellow Americans for possessing a plant he does not like is hypocritical in the extreme. He is absolutely no different than the anti gun people demanding we relinquish our guns.

            1. No, I’m telling you I want to live in a free society where I don’t have a bunch of collectivist / totalitarian / authoritarian psycho freaks ordering people around at gun point telling them what they can and cannot own, where they can or can’t go and what they can do in private. You know, kinda like the ideals the country was founded on, or did you miss that?

            2. @smoke, What is the rest of your sentence, or did you forget what you were going to say?
              @BinILL, All of the points in your argument sound so noble, traditional, and righteous. It sure is strange that Bill “I did not inhale” Clinton or the current POTUS didn’t fix it all for you. Must not have sent in enough bribe money.

            3. Wild Bill, now you are just being sophomoric, no point in attempting to discuss a topic with you. I take it you are fine with the war on some drugs as long as it doesn’t affect your gun ownership. I bet you are also one of the one’s who will gladly turn all your guns in when so ordered.

            4. @BinILL, jumping to conclusions again, as I have taken no position, but I have found out your sophomoric method of debate.

        1. Right Thomas? Alcohol has PROVEN bad effects on the body, especially over long term use. It is addictive, effects fine motor skills, the brain, liver pancreas and kidneys. It also makes people do insane things that get them injured or killed.

      1. Yes. ATF form 4473 11 (c) Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

        Marijuana is still a federally prohibited schedule 1 drug.

        Now the hipster know how the Confederacy felt.

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