Government Uses Propaganda to Argue Against Guns For Marijuana Users

Marijuana And Fireworks
Marijuana And Guns

On Wednesday, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a briefing in a case challenging the prohibition of marijuana users owning firearms out of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case, United States v. Erik Matthew Harris, is one of many court cases challenging the federal prohibition on marijuana users possessing guns. Erik Harris was charged and convicted of being a person “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” and having a firearm. After the conviction, Harris’s legal team filed an appeal claiming the law was unconstitutional.

The DOJ Criminal Division has now filed its brief to the Circuit Court, and to many, it reads like the 1936 movie, “Reefer Madness.” It is hard to distinguish between propaganda and fact in the government’s briefing. The DOJ seems to conflate hard drugs with a drug that is legal in many states and is used by many medical patients, although it is still federally banned.

One claim that the federal government makes in the brief is that people who use marijuana are likely not to store their firearms safely. The government also claims that marijuana users are “apt to retain possession while under the influence.” The DOJ doesn’t cite any sources for this bold claim, and lawyers state that this alleged fact means the federal prohibition is constitutional.

“Indeed, even if a court were to consider only the risk that a person will misuse firearms while under the influence of drugs, Section 922(g)(3) complies with the Second Amendment because drug users who possess firearms are apt to retain possession while under the influence,” the DOJ said. “This case is an example: Harris claimed to lose one of his firearms (potentially at a bar) on the same evening that he smoked marijuana and was drunk.”

The DOJ also claims that those who use marijuana are likely to use guns to commit crimes to fund their drug habit. The government also claims that marijuana users are likely to use their guns to protect their drugs. The brief also argues that users are at a higher risk of committing suicide. The government doesn’t cite a source.

“Drug users also frequently use firearms to commit other crimes—including to fund their drug habit, protect their stash, or prevent apprehension—and may use firearms to commit acts of self-harm,” the brief reads. “In Section 922(g)(3), Congress sought to address these problems by temporarily disarming regular drug users and drug addicts. An individual can regain his ability to possess firearms by stopping his illegal drug abuse.”

“As explained, drug users are also more likely to use firearms to commit crimes to fund their drug habit, engage in violence as part of the drug business or culture, attack police officers who are investigating their drug crimes, and commit suicide,” it continues. “Those risks justify disarming habitual drug users even ‘between periods’ of drug intoxication.”

The DOJ also claims that the Second Amendment only applies to law-abiding citizens. Since a marijuana user is breaking the law, they are not law-abiding in the eyes of the DOJ, but the courts have ruled that if a law is unconstitutional, then it is invalid. The case isn’t challenging the constitutionality of the prohibition of marijuana. It is only challenging the banning of firearms for users of the drug.

The DOJ said there’s a “demonstrated correlation between marijuana use and certain mental illnesses” but did admit those claims are contested in the scientific community. The DOJ legal team stated that there are historical analogs from the founding era that showed the mentally ill being disarmed. The government is leaning heavily on these laws to prove its case and that the law is “comfortably” constitutional.

The government also cited safety for police in its brief. The DOJ claims that people under the influence are likely to assault cops. The DOJ seems to be trying to use “interest balancing” even though the Bruen decision explicitly forbade the courts from using the “two-step legal test.”

There are two other circuit court cases challenging the prohibition of guns for those who use marijuana. One case is in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the second is in the Eleventh Court of Appeals.

Government Uses Propaganda To Argue Against Guns For Marijuana Users | United States v. Erik Matthew Harris… by AmmoLand Shooting Sports News on Scribd

About John Crump


John Crump

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What a joke, narcotics in the Whitehouse but they can’t figure out how it got there.

Patriot Solutions

They don’t know anything about sacraficing and raping of kids at the White House either…


when you read the two briefs from the defendant’s lawyer and the government, you have to laugh at the government brief, it is like a benny hill skit, hilarious. the defendant’s brief was readable and made sense. hopefully this judge will make a ruling as sensible as the defendant’s brief.


Try to make sense of this…………. Federal law supersedes all conflicting State and Local laws regarding the illegal alien invasion and distribution by federal authorities………… but the 2A – RKBA can be infringed or nullified by any State or Local laws.
Which law is “law”…the law securing the right, or the law infringing the right?
The applications of the examples above, cannot both be right.


Leftists have no answer for the US2A. None. Which makes them desperate to at least disarm somebody. Anybody!


“Government Uses Propaganda to Argue Against Guns For Marijuana Users”
They used propaganda (Reefer Madness — 1936) to get pot banned in the first place.

Nothing to see here folks.

Move along.


At lot of y’all ain’t gonna like this:

Alcohol negatively affects Judgement, Reflexes and motor functions.
Nobody can deny that.
Marijuana does exactly the same thing.
People who cannot stop consuming their liquor and give up their weed have no business carrying firearms.
Same applies to a whole list of prescription narcotics and mental drugs.


Though you are correct, this is a personal matter and if you know you are going to be severely punished for actions while intoxicated, then suffer the punishment.
Just saying but there is merit in your concerns.

Sam in New Hampshire

True, but with the caveat that alcohol sometimes provokes aggressive behavior; everyone’s heard of “angry drunks.” But cannabis doesn’t do that; you never hear about “angry stoners.” However, these arguments fall into the “means-end” legal realm that the Bruen decision dismissed (actually, prohibited). What counts here is whether the Constitution gives government the authority to override Second Amendment-protected rights through subjective evaluation of just how incapacitated a person may be. One toke? One beer? Sleep-deprived? In need of glasses or hearing aids?


The argument could be made that the right to own a gun for someone who is an alcoholic is not limited, as alcohol is not an illegal substance. We are talking about simply owning guns, not possessing them. In Michigan, where I live, we can’t carry concealed with any amount of alcohol in our system. So someone who is addicted to a legal substance is somehow different than someone who is addicted to marijuana. The BATFE in their infinite wisdom decided that just having a medical marijuana card meant that you were addicted. As a chronic migraine patient, at one… Read more »


Hell, sleep deprivation and being able to get on Target and fight is all the Marine Corps ever taught us. They would wear our young asses out to where we could barely breathe and then either pistol, rifle, we even fired the 106 recoilless rifle sleep deprived… Same as the Laws rockets. We still got on target. It was our job to be combat effective under any conditions. There’s no joke to the statements being said that Marines, I can’t speak for any other branch, would be out drinking until 4:00 in the morning get back to base take a… Read more »




You’re correct, we dont like when tyrants think they have the authority to dictate what we can own or consume. Government is expressly forbidden from dictating who can possess arms and/or under what circumstances. The federal government also has absolutely zero constitutional authority to dictate what adults can put into their own bodies or what substances adults can possess. To believe otherwise is to say that you have no bodily autonomy and are essentially a slave to the state. A slave who must get approval from their master on what they’re allowed to consume. A government with the “authority” to… Read more »


Grant playing the devil’s advocate here sounds like you’re speaking from hands-on experience with both marijuana and alcohol while shooting or in the possession of firearms? How can you be so sure that someone taking a puff of weed won’t calm them down enough to allow them to be able to focus and properly function with a firearm in order to get on target? Or a shot of bourbon before relaxing enough to squeeze that trigger properly? And don’t take this in any manner to assume that I condone this as I said I’m playing the devil’s advocate here. Also… Read more »