Bang or Bong in New Jersey, Now the Decision is Yours?: Election 2020


Bang or Bong in New Jersey, Now the Decision is Yours?: Election 2020, img iStock-823603532

New Jersey – -( The people of New Jersey have spoken, a ballot initiative was voted on making weed a “right”, that is a state constitutional amendment was made, making Marijuana legal in the green Garden State.

Gun owners usually being fans of personal freedoms, should not take issue with this, should they?  After all, maximum rights preservation and expansion are principles that many embrace who support the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.  Having more rights instilled and solidified in the New Jersey Constitution is a good thing, no?

Regardless of one’s own personal view on the consumption of ole Mary Jane, we as a people, still have a very large elephant in the room to deal with.

The drug is still Federally classified as being illegal?

When I used to hear people from states like Washington and Massachusetts say things like “Well, yeah but it’s legal here.”  No, no it is not.  What you have in those states, and now New Jersey is a state government that is not willing to enforce federal law.  An argument can be made that the same states that have “legalized” the use of skunk weed, by ignoring federal law, also ignore federal law in the way of ignoring the enumerated right of the Second Amendment.  Many pro-green states also happen to be anti-civil rights.

Remember this fun fact, in a state that has “legal” use of Marijuana, a federal peace officer can still arrest and charge you with the crime of possession.

In my humble opinion, the hurdle is getting the Federal Government to make the necessary changes to the United States law on this subject.  All things being fair, look at optics.  During the Obama administration, there was a push to not prosecute infractions of the law concerning pot use.  In your opinion, how does the United State’s leadership and government appear to other countries, when the executives opt to ignore their own laws?  One could argue that states taking these positions are spitting in the face of any chief executive, Obama included when they passed these so-called decriminalization laws.  The same spit which the same states spew upon their citizens when they usurp their fundamental rights of self-defense.

Okay but New Jersey still has a choice to make, bang or bong?

Form 4473 line 11 E
Form 4473 line 11 E : you are a prohibited person.

This should be commonplace information by now for informed gun owners.  If you have a medical marijuana card, and or going forward enjoy the “legal” recreational consumption of weed, you are a prohibited person.  The ATF does not care what your state says about your “rights” to get stoned, you cannot use or own firearms if you’re a user of such substances.  Whatever your personal view on the subject is, is of zero consequence, this is the way it is!

With the influx of newly minted gun owners in the country and New Jersey, noting record numbers of purchaser’s permits being issued, many of these new gun owners are of the more liberal persuasion.  Gun rights activists are not too quick to champion onboard a giant amount of change in voting habits with our more progressive friends, but, these steps are in the right direction none-the-less.  It is important to contemplate, however, that the change in the tide of who owns guns, and the “legalization” of Marijuana can provide a small “one-two” punch to both anti-freedom policymakers and in turn the laws they decide to support.  I am of the opinion this is going to be settled through litigation, potentially a wheelchair-bound citizen in a state like New Jersey or Massachusetts, that uses medial Marijuana, but also is 100% physically able to defend themselves from an attack should they suffer one.

Could MJ can be key in regaining rights in draconian states like New Jersey?

Back to New Jersey’s constitution…or rather New Jersey.  Looking at our history, we have to address the fact that New Jersey, a key battleground during the Revolution, never ratified the 2nd Amendment.  Nor in New Jersey’s constitution is the right to bear arms anywhere enumerated.  What we do have though, is from article one:

“All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

One can interpret that to mean we can protect our property, and the question would be how?  We also can defend “life and liberty”, but how? The natural answer to these questions would be with arms, specifically, firearms.  The New Jersey Constitution condones the protection of property and life (keep that in mind while thinking about the use of force laws in the state).  Is it specifically written that people can do this with firearms, no?  But how obtuse can one be when trying to quantify what exactly we’re supposed to defend ourselves with.  Further, there are no restrictions specifically citing you can only defend yourself in your home, an important concept to bring up.

That one statement should invalidate the entire weapons law in the state of New Jersey, but it does not.

New Jersey, as we turn another leaf in the pages of history, we can all sleep well at night.  Some of us might sleep better than others after a post-toke munchie-session.  Now that our constitution has been voted on to allow the people to smoke weed, as a right, sigh out a smoky sigh of relief.  However, our 2nd Amendment Freedoms are still kept from us by the man.

John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .

John Petrolino
John Petrolino
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Elisa Delaurenti

As a gun rights activist, this is an argument I’ve had for decades now. (I can’t call them debates any more)….. and the argument from their side is always the same….. they miss the point entirely and go off about things such as comparing mj to alcohol and prescription drugs. It’s nearly impossible to get the point across to them, so I just make the point for everyone else reading my posts or listening to the argument. Here’s a letter we sent out about a year ago on this that may help clear things up. It’s focused on “medical marijuana”,… Read more »


The idea seems to be give the people access to MJ, then their 2A rights can be taken from them… It’s a game being played by dems, and will come to haunt anyone who gets caught with a MJ card AND a gun……


The arguments for states rights in this issue are 100%. I would add that the constitution does not grant the fedgov the ability to regulate a substance. Therefore the prohibited person designation on firearms by users is also unconstitutional. If you think the fedgov can legally ban a substance I submit prohibition as the proof it cannot. That took two constitutional amendments to sort out. likewise the NFA is illegal at its core and only survives as a “tax”. So many things need to be handled at the state levels to put the feds back in the chains they were… Read more »

J Gibbons

Both of these are philosophical arguments that do little to change the progression of unconstitutional gun laws in NJ and elsewhere. Of course the government can prohibit a substance. The laws are in place. Should the feds be able to? Perhaps not. I don’t have a whole lot of skin in that specific game. The key issue here is whether the same precedent that allows NJ to violate federal law on weed or illegal immigrants should apply, given rational and thoughtful state legislative and judicial branches, to the 2nd Amendment and self-defense. Neither weed nor immigration are directly addressed on… Read more »


correct. many, if not most politicians are lawyers and use legalese when constructing legislation confusing the average citizen. also most pieces of legislation are too long. the usage of common english and short, precise verbiage should be used.


not to mention the guarantee we can not be made to incriminate ourselves by government, right? Putting that question on the 4473 is fishing for self-incrimination, thus lying in response should be protected speech, as to tell the truth would be self-incrimination, as telling the truth (for users) will result in a “deny” code being returned. The FifthArticle of Amendment should protect us from having our Second Article of Ammendment rights denied.


These more progressive new gun owners are not our friends, they didnt buy guns, even first guns because they care about something bigger than themselves or to preserve anything, they bought them because they’re selfish assholes who care only about themselves. They are not our friends and they all can kiss my @$$ at the same time.


WOW I’ve been saying this since March. The left leaning new gun buyers are still leaning left but with a gun now.


So, how is it that HUNTER BIDEN, who has been addticted to and uses illegal drugs (much more potent that MJ) has NOT be investigated and arrested for his purchase of a firearm and his LIE on the 4473???? It’s all public knowledge now..


I agree, however suggest the Author’s position would be strengthened by clarifying – i) the Second Amendment is Not an “enumerated right” – it is an “absolute restriction on the ‘government'” regarding a “G_d given Right”; ii) “Rights” in our Republic cannot be granted by a “constitutional amendment” whether federal or that of a state; and iii) if the citizens of New Jersey believe the Federal Law criminalizing “Mary Jane” or other intoxicants are “wrong” or “unlawful” there is a legislative process for changing the Federal Law (if your Representatives and Senators are not responsive to you “fire them”). P.S.… Read more »


“are you an unlawful user of…” if a state makes it legal then it’s not “unlawful”(in that state). If a federal peace officer arrests you it will probably be for something else.


that is what an intelligent cogent individual would believe. Unfortunately, The Ones who Rule over us have deemed otherwise. BATF, a FedGov organisation that has NO Constittuinal authority to exist, let alone do what they do to us with respect to firearms, have “declared” that as long as marijuana remains a federally “Controlled Substance”, its use by anyone anywhere wthin the US renders one “disabled” with respoect to possession or use of firearms. Ive never yet had anyone explain to me HOW FedGov found, discovered, or manufactured the “authority” to declare to any of us what we may/mayn’t put into… Read more »


@Tionico – Doubt ATF reads it this way, but question says “are you an unlawful user” not “are you now or have you ever been”. Clearly present case. If you used last year and have quit, you can honestly respond “no” as you are no longer a user.


No argument there, Finnky. I suppose, strictly speaking, ol Charlie COULD have used ot last month, stopped,bought his gun, then in a fit of confusion, desparation, or whatever, gone and bought a dime bag and started using it again. Didn’t lie because he HAD quit…. Still and all, the whole mess is illegal, and needs to be done away with. I cannot imagine WHY, with well over half the states now allowing it in some form or measure, FedGov cannot get off the dime and remove Canabis Sativa from the Controlled Substances Act. The fact they have it lsited as… Read more »

Gene Ralno

Nobody ever accused New Jersey politicians of being astute logicians. Some states forbid possession while under the influence of “mood altering” drugs (choose your own adjective), a good idea if the user is sufficiently lucid to recognize an altered mood. It’s absurd.

The 2nd Amendment is clear and uncompromising. If ignorant, snot-nosed delinquents choose to use while armed, their stupidity eventually will disappear. In plain language, they’ll not live long enough to procreate. Our laws often are cruel like that.


NO. It is just not illegal under state law. A state can simply not have a law on the books regarding, let’s say machine guns. Idaho doesn’t regulate machine guns or barrel length. They remain regulated under federal law. A state decriminalizes pot in it’s jurisdiction, it doesn’t void federal law.


Unbelievably… the citizens of Mississippi used the referendum to get medical marijuana legalized, because our lazy politicians have been sitting on their giant thumbs for the past decade. “F” them!
My knee has been giving me problems lately on my daily walks in the park….. NOW (or very soon) I’ll be able to get someone to break out the hookah and “blow smoke rings” onto my knee for some of that sweet ganja relief.


Arizona joined New Jersey in legalizing pot yesterday. Most of the voters must have already been smoking it to have elected that scum incarnate Mark Kelly the blatent crook Tom O’Halleran and brain-dead Biden. I am ashamed of my state and detest those idiots who went blue.