FPC Urge Court to Find Possession of Marijuana Does Not Render a Person Prohibited

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FPC and FPF Urge Maine Supreme Judicial Court to Find Mere Possession of Marijuana Does Not Render a Person Prohibited From Possession of Firearms, iStock-823603532

Portland, ME-(Ammoland.com)- Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, in the case of State of Maine v. Richard A. Tonini, asking the Court to hold that the mere possession of marijuana does not render a person prohibited from possessing firearms. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org.

The case stems from a non-violent police encounter, where Richard Tonini, the appellant in the case, was pulled over by a Maine State Trooper for a traffic infraction. During the stop, the officer inquired as to a plastic bag in the vehicle’s back seat, which he believed to be marijuana. After confirming its contents, Mr. Tonini admitted to possessing two firearms. Mr. Tonini was charged with furnishing scheduled drugs and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Ultimately, at trial, Mr. Tonini was acquitted of furnishing scheduled drugs but convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

The Supreme Judicial Court invited interested parties to address three questions:

  1. Can a person who possesses marijuana be determined to be “an unlawful user of or . . . addicted to any controlled substance” within the meaning of the firearms possession prohibition in 15 M.R.S. § 393(1)(G) (2018)?
  2. What effect, if any, does an acquittal on a charge of furnishing a scheduled drug have on the State's ability to establish that the defendant was prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to section 393(1)(G)?
  3. What is the test for evaluating the constitutionality of section 393 in light of the United States Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010)?

“Based on our research, and as our brief explains, a person who merely possesses marijuana cannot automatically be deemed an ‘unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance’,” said FPC Director of Legal Strategy, attorney, and the brief’s lead author, Adam Kraut. “Nothing in the record indicates Mr. Tonini had previously ingested marijuana, was arrested for marijuana, or was ‘addicted to’ marijuana. Further, based on the Supreme Court’s straightforward categorical method for examining laws that infringe on rights protected under the Second Amendment, Mr. Tonini’s right to keep and bear arms cannot be restricted on the trial record.”

Support our work to help this important case prevail here!


About Firearms Policy CoalitionFirearms Policy Coalition

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)(4) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the People’s rights, especially the human right to keep and bear arms, promote individual liberty, and restore freedom.

About Firearms Policy Foundation

Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.

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Considerthis
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Considerthis

General Jack Ripper, still denying women his precious bodily fluids.

Jaque
Member
Jaque

Wow 6 downvotes. An all time high. 1. I wonder how many down voters smoke dope, use it as a lawful medicinal substance, or have a financial interest in its sales and own guns ? 2. I also wonder how many are psychotherapists treating persons with schizophrenia, council in addiction centers, or see first hand the effects of the illegal drug trade and marijuana as a gateway drug? 3.Any one in law enforcement for dope use and gun rights ? 4. Or are the usual clan of leftist trolls posting in favor of dopers and guns trying to push gun… Read more »

RoyD
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RoyD

As far as the down votes let it roll off like water off a duck. As we used to say long ago: “It ain’t nothing but a thing.”

USA
Member
USA

Jaque, LEO’s need the tyranny so they were against legal Devil weed in Colorado and now after their addiction to be tyrants has been severed and they have detoxed from creating crime the point is moot among them. You will learn very soon this will be exactly the same with guns and weed together and if they eliminated every piece of un-constitutional “gun control” in a second the world would not explode because it’s all based in lies and fear mongering. Coloradans have been driving around smoking the weed for decades so regardless of what the law is nothing will… Read more »

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Federal Form 4473, Question 11 e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside. The technicality they are arguing is a mighty thin strand considering that the statement after the question does state possession is still illegal federally. Also, Tonini admits to being a Marijuana user, which, since it is an illegal substance, makes him… Read more »

USA
Member
USA

Heed, Colorado is once again defying the fed by codifying cannabis users firearms as lawful in the next few months and by default will create a very nice black market for firearms along with nullifying permit requirements for cannabis users exempting them from compliance.
One toke over the line sweet Jesus one toke over the line……………………………………………..

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Both Federal gun and drug laws are unconstitutional.

Jaque
Member
Jaque

How so. Please explain

StWayne
Member
StWayne

The doorway to legally prescribed drugs is just an open door for teenagers to steal it from their parents medicine cabinets, as it is for street thugs who steal it in bulk from shipping docks. No matter what precautions you put in place, people will always find a way to subvert it. Stop drugs in one country, and they just come in from another via submarine in the still of the night on some remote coastline. If you saw the movie “Mule” with Clint Eastwood, if anything, it demonstrates how easy it is to get sucked up into something like… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Wayne, Hmmm, no prescription drugs or no teenagers … tough choice!

StWayne
Member
StWayne

LOL. Now that’s funny! Can’t see how you separate them though.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Wayne, Keep the prescriptions in the barn or keep the teenagers in the barn? This is getting harder!

StWayne
Member
StWayne

Man, I wish I could, but the cows will have neither! And the sheep, they want nothing to do with teenage boys, period! And I sure as hell can’t convince the chickens of anything. So yes, it is getting harder.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

the crazy thing is that so many prescriptioin drugs are far more addicting, and debilitating, and intixicating, than marijuana ever can be. It should NOT be listed as Schedule One, or any other level of “controlled”. It used to be an endemic weed no one cared about.. until duPont had it made illegal. Corporate greed along with the Good Ol’ Boy club politics creates one of the largest industries anywhere on the planet. Strange…..

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Agreed, but the feds are only concerned with illegal possession and use, not addiction in general.

Jaque
Member
Jaque

So the answer is do nothing or amend the CFR making psychotropic drugs lawful for all ?

Jaque
Member
Jaque

The founding fathers did not face narco terrorists, islamic terrorists funded by the illegal drug trade, terrorist nation states that are working to undermine American security and safety by drugging its youth. Marijuana is a proven gateway drug and contributing factor to mental illness, crime, and in spite of liberal states legalizing recreational use in the hope it would stop narco terrorists from smuggling marijuana into the US the Narcos have grown their US operations and destroying the environment with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, damming streams and killing proteced species. All to feed the addiction of Americas addicts and criminals.… Read more »

Kaiserworks
Member
Kaiserworks

Jaque, Yes criminal organizations do use narcotic sales for income. Terror groups can generate funds as well. But the largest narcotics importer and terror groups that dwarf all others by several magnitudes are: the US and other Western intelligence agencies. And your correct again, that street drugs (and prescription too) are used as weapons. One of many against the US population. The enemy is within the gates, he inhabits all the Halls of power and the heads of every LE agency. But these facts are all beyond our control, short of a successful 1776 scenario where every lamppost in DC… Read more »

Jaque
Member
Jaque

Yes. The exploits of the CIA are well documented. Is your thought because the CIA did bad things is justification for the rest of the government do do the same ?

Klim
Member
Klim

The government doesn’t seem to need any justification for all the criminal pursuits it engages in.

USA
Member
USA

Klim, It is not called the Cabal because it is not the mafia.

KCsmith
Member
KCsmith

It’s hard to be that ignorant in this day and age, but you seem to have really mastered it.

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Another big government progressive endorsing the government’s war on the American people.

“Any user and abuser of mind altering substances as in marijuana must face consequences should they desire to possess firearms”

I feel the same way about the people who are addicted to caffeine.

DaveC
Member
DaveC

You couldn’t be more wrong

UncleT
Member
UncleT

1. Its none of your Or the Govt business what other people put in their body even if they know the risks. 2. You legalize these drugs doesn’t that take most the money away from cartels and ISIS? 3. You can’t see the govt is using drugs over all to destroy the Bill Of Rights and Making life a living hell if not killing innocent Americans? From Civil Forfeiture Laws to no knock raids that have KILLED innocent Americans because they keep attacking the WRONG HOUSE! Not to mention what they are doing to patients in chronic pain. My uncle… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Uncle T, Au contrar, mon frair, it is the “giverment’s” business! Health care is subsidized by the government. Thus the government has a vested financial interest in your health and what one puts in his body, even if he knows the risks.
All the other stuff are different issues.

UncleT
Member
UncleT

What BS. It is not the Govt’s job to provide healthcare EITHER. With your argument, that would mean they have a right to confiscate guns, tell you how to eat and ban motorcycles in the name of cutting down on their healthcare costs. You are just as bad as the Socialists in this country.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Uncle, Yep, cradle to grave government is BS, alright! That is my point. But if you are going to ride bike, shoot guns, or smoke dope, then you better be ready to provide medical care for yourself.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

I do two out of those three (the two more risky, cycling and shooting I choose not to use MJ), and have paid for ALL my health and medical needs out of MY pocket for four decades, total cost under about three thousand dollars. When OhBummerTax came out and they told me I am OBLIGATED to sigh up, I went to their site, entered all the information, and about died laughing about how much they wanted from me…. total premium for one year was above $8,000. Deductible, the amount I have to pay before they pay anything, was $2500. That… Read more »

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Health care is NOT the government’s business either, so what you have done is taken two instances of government violation of their Constitutional limits, linked them together, determined that they are interdependent, this the government DOES have in interest in both. No, Gummit have NO business meddling in either one of these issues. End government’s meddilng in health care and with the same stroke end government’s interest in controlled substances. I can take an axe and whack off my hand, and government ulitmately has to put me back toegher again. Does that give government authority to restrict, limit, license, outrageously… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Tio, No, I merely used mild sarcasm to illustrate a point. But the “vested interest argument” is one that it is easy to see that the government would use to diminish our freedoms.

gregs
Member
gregs

jaque, please stop watching reefer madness and using it as reference material. marijuana/pot is not a gateway drug, if you have citation, please post it. i personally have seen alcohol do much more harm to people and families that pot. i do not smoke but know many people of all ages who do. it should be prohibited for minors to consume except in a medical setting as alcohol is. it is classified as a schedule 1 drug, same as crack, meth and heroin but does not cause near the same amount of societal harm as the others listed. as during… Read more »

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Marijuana is a proven gateway drug and contributing factor to mental illness, crime, this is absolutely NOT TRUE, with the possible exception that the present connexion between marijuana and the criminal element (simply because the stuff is declared to be illegal, thus cannot be traded like Pez, ice cream, Dr Pepper, or cigarrettes, ALL of which can be addicting, or at least habit forming) The REASON the narcotraficantes continue is because the drugs are illegel, thus there is the insane risk, and attendant profit margins, that accompany trading in them. WHO is at the root of the opium and derivative… Read more »

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Tionico, that is also the reason why we still have “moonshine” and illegal tobacco, taxes and regulations make the black market enticing to those unopposed to breaking a law or two.

Klim
Member
Klim

Bullshit.
Alchohol and tobacco are the two biggest gateway drugs out there. Both have done infinitely more damage to society and humans in general than weed ever will. Legally prescribed drugs kill more people in a week than marijuana ever has or ever will.

Will
Member
Will

@Klim,your comment is the absolute truth.

USA
Member
USA

Klim, It is why alcohol and tobacco are legal. The best dope a person can get comes from a doctor and pharmacies are simply legal dope dealers.

Klim
Member
Klim

I know, let’s start stoning woman when they’re seen outside the home with a man who’s not their husband or brother, hanging people for public protests against the government, and chopping off the hands of shoplifters. Now those are some laws I’m sure we can all agree on.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a late night rendezvous with one of my goats.

USA
Member
USA

Did any of the Founding Fathers grow Cannabis and/or Hemp? Did any of them consume Cannabis, Alcohol or Opium? Did they prohibit these substances and/or ban the users of these substances from any rights listed in The Bill of Rights? Is the political activist (globalist) court over-reaching their limitations of power by infringing upon rights specifically protected and retained by We The People? Are We The People going to have to use rope to take our stolen rights back or will the court recognize their error and self correct? It is for sure that we know where the courthouse is… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

@ USA,GEORGE Washington grew lots of hemp.

USA
Member
USA

Will, And, there is no law that supersedes the US Constitution codifying virtuous citizenry to have rights and in many cases rights are retained for the less than virtuous. Globalist traitors on the bench rule by whim with stolen authority and like Devin Nunes said, were going to string them up. It will be glorious.

Will
Member
Will

@USA,You’re right! Just like Q said, hemp rope will work just fine too!

USA
Member
USA

Will, Yep and it looks like We The People have selected premium Hemp rope to fix the country so now it’s just a matter of getting down to business and it wont be long now brother. I have noticed we even have some Sheriffs joining the team which is very good. I suppose I’ll not bash them.

USA
Member
USA

Will, It was not long ago that Americans were snorting Cocaine on the streets of San Fran while armed and driving horse drawn buggy’s so to think the founders were sobrietists would be ludicrous. I have collected enough Opium bottles from the mines of the Comstock Lode to know for fact the stuff was widely consumed in recent history. “Coca” Cola did in fact have Cocaine in it when it originally came out hence the name, “Coca” Cola.

Will
Member
Will

@USA,George Washington was a master whiskey distiller too.

USA
Member
USA

Will, I didn’t know he was a Whiskey Distiller, thanks.

Will
Member
Will

@USA,yep,in 1799 (the year he died) Washington Distillers produced over 11,000 gallons of whiskey. An amazing amount of booze at that time.

Will
Member
Will

@USA,I remember in the late 60’s to mid ‘70’s OTC cough medications had lots of codeine in it. Some of my friends would buy that crap before school started in the morning and guzzle that crap. When I saw them with it I took the bottles and broke them. Then they tried to hide it but I hunted them down and broke them bottles anyway. Damn they got pissed and wanted to fight.

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Will, hemp, not Marijuana. Hemp is still grown in other countries because the fibers are used for many purposes, none of which involve smoking it. The THC levels in hemp are too low to be useful for use as a drug. Virginia has begun to redevelop hemp farming. The hemp is tested to ensure minimal levels of THC, which, if too high, would make it illegal. Marijuana was not made illegal due to DuPont. Hemp was also banned because it contains THC and looks similar to Marijuana. There was no competition between DuPont’s synthetic fibers and hemp fibers, they had… Read more »

Quatermain
Member
Quatermain

Hemp rope if it comes to that…