Minnesota Rep Has Personal Reasons in Fight for Medical Marijuana Gun Rights
Did you know that a prescription for medical marijuana equals revocation of gun rights?
According to Star Tribune (Minnesota), pro-gun advocates are teaming up with cannabis advocates to fight for medical marijuana users' gun rights. The groups are lobbying for the federal government to recognize the plant as medicinal, rather than as a schedule I drug - so that patients can have guns. Star Tribune reports, "If their effort is successful, Minnesota would be the first of 36 states that allow medical marijuana in some form to appeal directly to the federal government on behalf of its enrollees."
One representative is advocating for medical marijuana patients' gun rights because it affects his personal life.
While this could potentially be a historic event, it is unfortunate that one of the pro-gun advocates is fighting for the gun rights of medical marijuana users only because he is personally affected. According to Star Tribune, Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) is fighting for his rights because he realized that his medical marijuana prescription prevents him from hunting. But he did not care about the rights of the terminally ill people who could have benefitted from medical marijuana back in 2009.
Hamilton once voted against a medical marijuana bill meant only to help terminally ill patients.
In 2009, Hamilton voted against a bill that was meant to give terminally ill people with accompanying conditions the right to use marijuana. So, only people who were basically waiting out slow, agonizing deaths would have legally been able to use, and Hamilton's vote was one against these people. It was not until 2014 when he was personally moved by a story about a young Minnesota girl who suffered from seizures that he changed his mind about medical marijuana - at that point, he was "happy to be a flip-flopper on the issue."
Now, since 2019, Hamilton has spoken for the rights of gun owners who also want/need medical marijuana prescriptions - because he is personally affected. According to Star Tribune, this is what Hamilton (who was prescribed marijuana because of multiple sclerosis) had to say about how not being allowed to hunt with a medical marijuana prescription affects him: "Do I feel like I've missed out? Absolutely I do. My doctors think this would provide me some relief... I am prioritizing, right, wrong or otherwise, my Second Amendment rights over using, in the eyes of Minnesota, a lawful medical product."
Representative Hamilton is advocating for the wrong reason - personal gain.
Is this Minnesota representative really the right person to be any kind of voice for a pro-marijuana movement? Hamilton is showing that he is only advocating because of how he is personally affected - he can't hunt because the doctor told him to use marijuana. There are more reasons to advocate for those who need marijuana other than the fact that they can't have both a gun and a marijuana prescription - like they are in pain, distress, dying, etc.
We need representatives to advocate for marijuana users for reasons other than strictly personal ones.
While I do agree that it is insane that medical marijuana users can't legally own guns in the United States, I do not think the motive behind changing the laws should be "because I can't hunt." There are many misconceptions about marijuana and marijuana users that need to be addressed in order to move past the stigma and towards total countrywide legalization and acceptance. And states need representatives, who care about the actual issues, to advocate for marijuana users and their rights.