During her Fox News town hall on Wednesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was asked whether or not she supports the legalization of marijuana on the federal level.
"I'll start with marijuana. I think that each state should be able to make that decision [whether it's legalized]. I do support making it legal state-by-state. And I know it's something that my state [Minnesota] is considering right now. We have medical marijuana," Klobuchar said.
"But, I think beyond that it's a much bigger question about our criminal justice system. And, to me, that begins with what's happens when you put people in prison with an incarceration rate that's so high, like our country has, with such long sentences for nonviolent offenders," she said.
She advocated for utilizing drug courts whenever possible and reducing sentences for those who are currently in prison for non-violent crimes.
One of the things that's not addressed when politicians talk about marijuana is firearms and their Second Amendment rights.
Marijuana is illegal on the federal level but some states have made it legal.
Let's use Washington State as an example.
A person decides to buy marijuana at a local dispensary to use recreationally. They also want a firearm to protect themselves. Legally, they're not allowed to own a firearm. If he or she goes into a gun store, they're required to fill out a 4473 form, which is used for a background check. One of the questions is whether or not you use marijuana. If you check "yes" your sale will be denied. If you check "no" then you're lying on the form, which is a felony. You can face up to 5 years in prison and heavy fines.
If you're in a state that has medical marijuana, you have to obtain a special permit saying you're legally allowed to possess it. Again, if you go in and attempt to buy the firearm, you're in the same situation. If you check "yes" you're denied. If you check "no" then you're lying. And guess what? If you have a medical marijuana ID card, meaning those records can be crosschecked.
Not only that, but state laws conflict with federal laws. If the same person who is driving in Washington State is pulled over by a cop with marijuana in their possession, they'd be let go as long as they're not under the influence. If a federal agent pulls them over then they could, technically, be jailed. Because, at the end of the day, federal law trumps state laws.
If a person wants to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, then they have to choose what's more important: being pain free or having a firearm for self-defense.
These are the type of conundrums that most people know very little about, especially in states that have legalized marijuana.
In today's political environment, this issue has not been addressed or looked at on a comprehensive scale and it's something that politicians across the board need to address, otherwise otherwise knowingly law-abiding citizens are suddenly criminals.