Michigan: Medical Marijuana, Gun Ownership, and CPLs

The main question we get is: "I have a MMMA Card, can I still get a CPL and own and possess firearms?"
The main question we get is: “I have a MMMA Card, can I still get a CPL and own and possess firearms?”
Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners
Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners

Michigan-(Ammoland.com)- We often get questions on the interplay between firearm ownership and Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act.

It is a complex and changing area of law. We know that federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)) makes it a felony for an “unlawful user of … any controlled substance” to “possess … any firearm or ammunition.”

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, so it is a felony for a user of marijuana to possess a firearm or ammunition. Juxtapose this with the fact that 28 states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws legalizing the medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana.

The main question we get is: “I have a MMMA Card, can I still get a CPL and own and possess firearms?”

To get a License to Purchase a pistol or a Concealed Pistol License in Michigan, you must also pass a federal background check (NICS check). This brings federal law into the Michigan scheme of licensing. The ATF takes the position that anyone with a MMMA card is probably using and therefore they are not allowed to possess a firearm until 12 months after their last use. So, even having a card is a prohibitor in the eyes of the federal government.

Some argue that this may be a leap as a person with a MMMA card may not use marijuana the same as a CPL holder may not ever carry a pistol. The federal law has been challenged and been upheld so far. Courts have, without any real empirical evidence, assumed a connection between marijuana use and gun violence.

The Michigan database on who has a MMMA card does not talk to the State or Federal databases that are used for background checks. So, unless the person admits they have the card there is no real way for anyone to find out.

But you must fill out certain forms when you apply for a License to Purchase or CPL and you are stepping into a grey area when the marijuana question must be answered. Hopefully, we will get some clarity from new legislation or court cases in the future to make this interaction between laws more sensible.

More information about medical marijuana and firearms ownership can be found HERE.

About MCRGO:

The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day.

Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org.

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Yachid Yada Meir Zara

14688. Notwithstanding, above I spoke rather of Right’z & Duty’z, & Law… Nowhere above do I Imply an Ability to “Conceal”, same which would be DisHonourable, & therefore without the territory covered thereat. Law NEVER (to my knowledge) sanction’d or Created of any Man a Right to behave Without Honour, or to Conceal Armz. Furthermore, I cannot for the Life of me, despite all the ground above covered, why AnyOne would consider to Set-Aside Several Hundred Yearz of Fought-&-Die’d-for Rightz (Armz, Locomotion, Liberty, ect.) to Prefer a PRIVILEDGE from the State! To my way of Thinking, this Argument iz a… Read more »

Irving Cryderman

If you do you do use and you check no under the drug question, I believe you have just committed a felony. Not sure how this would be enforceable, but they could certainly use it against you if they wish. Now I did hear if you are found guilty of driving buzzed it will appear on your record, then when you wish to renew your CPL or buying a firearm you will be turned away.


What if I’m a caregiver that doesn’t smoke can I own a gun?

Jill Hulvey

I am wondering about, I am a medical marijuana caregiver only, I’m not a patient and do not use, would I still be able to obtain my CPL? I cannot find any information on this

James Robert Dockeray


James Robert Dockeray

Yes you can, even under federal law which states you are prohibited if you are addicted to OR use illegal drugs


I’m in the same boat I already own long guns and thinking about getting a caregiver card but I don’t smoke or use can I keep my guns?


Nowhere above do I Imply an Ability to “Conceal”, same which would be DisHonourable, & therefore without the territory covered thereat. then WHY this: we have a right to arms.. own, possess, move at will, secure, hide, transport, use, buy, sell, make, trade, etc, as with any other property. Whatever I can do to or with a claw hammer, I can, under law, do to or with a firearm. We also have a right to privacy.. to be secure in our persons (clothing, what we have in or on or with ourselves), houses papers, effects (the things we own or… Read more »

Yachid Yada Meir Zara

14688. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WITHOUT PREJUDICE. WITHOUT RECOURSE. First of all, props to all those among our number who fight day’ly to preserve & protect Our Rightz & Freedomz & Libertyz, & Property’z! The POWER of ARMz… Of course to Own & Use, or ‘Bear’ Arms iz not an overly simple question… It involvez at once a(n): —Rightz to “LIFE, LIBERTY, & PROPERTY”. —Right to pursue Happy’ness [Property Ownership]. —Right to Privacy. —Right to Protest. —Right to Due Process. —Right to Equality. —Right to Law. —Right to Sanctuary (House, Home, Domicile, Church). —Right (Property) to Own Arms, for LIFE-Protection of… Read more »


Need to get BATF out of all state level issues, then delist marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.. which it is not, never has been , nor will be. And no, I do not use the stuff, nor do I intend to. But I am well aware of what it is, and is not. One quick fix would be for Michigan’s legislature to opt for a background check system other than NICS. Funny, if the CPL wants a NICS check to get, and if the NICS check is done for every firearm purchase, which one comes first? If a… Read more »

D. White

Need to put alcohol in same status then.


The newly updated 4473 for clearly states that use of Marijuana prohibits you from the purchase of any firearm


As usual, MCRGO doesn’t answer questions nor do they provide accurate info except how and where to fill their coffers.

The LTP (RI-10)has no application, its verbal. Localities are prohibited from having their own applications and the state has yet to release an application, that’s why it’s verbal.

The CPL (RI-13) is applied for on an application called the RI-12. No where on the application does it ask if you have a MML card.


That would be relevant… Except one of the requirements for obtaining a LTP includes the potential buyer not being addicted to or an unlawful user of a controlled substance as defined in MCLA 333.7104. I’ll save you the reading, marijuana is still included, as it includes schedule 1 controlled/banned substances. Because firearms are regulated by federal law, ANYONE who uses, possesses, transports, grows, or sells marijuana, recreational or medicinal, is committing a felony if they are in possession of a firearm or ammunition. Having a MML provides the basis for a reasonable assumption that one who goes through the process… Read more »


This is incorrect. LTP disqualifications (MCL 28.422) and CPL disqualifications (MCL 28.425b) do not include medical marijuana.

It doesn’t matter if is banned under federal law. Michigan has not passed any ban on medical marijuana for LTP’S or CPL’s.

Furthermore, even if they wanted to, they can’t because Section 7 of the MMMA prohibits any law to the contrary, they would have to amend the MMMA by 3/4 majority vote to amend the MMMA.

We have an excellent handle on this issue at MOC and that is why we published a rebuttal that is 100% factual.


Furthermore, no where in the MCL is there a requirement that you must be able to “purchase” a firearm under federal law, only to “possess” firearm under federal law (MCL 28.426).

Purchasing (18 USC 922(d)) and Possession (18 USC 922 (g)) are not identical as the Wilson case clearly illustrates.

Steven Nunley

6 months after i got out of the army i was denied the purchase of a rifle. I assume its because i got a medical card a couple months before that. i was so depressed. i deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months and i come home get out and cant buy a gun cause i use cannabis to hide my nightmares,.

Doc Vmc

Be careful taking advice from MOC.!
I debated for close to an hour, he insisted that Michigan doesn’t have any pistol free zones. PFZ’s are mentioned many times and it in fact states that no one may possess a firearm in a pistol free zone, however it goes on to exempt certain people including CPL holders (From Michigan or any state) which are only exempt from carrying concealed in those zones.

Linda Craven

I was told by a gun store owner that if you posses a MMJ card in Michigan that you can NOT own or purchase any firearm. If the fed came in your home there would be a felony for each firearm you own. So I can not buy a gun here in Michigan, I would rather have my card than a gun anyway.