The Oregon Supreme Court ruled, unanimously, “that a retired school bus driver can have her medical marijuana and a concealed handgun, too,” the Associated Press (AP) reported. “The ruling upheld previous decisions by the Oregon Court of Appeals and circuit court that determined a federal law barring criminals and drug addicts from buying firearms does not excuse sheriffs from issuing concealed weapons permits to people who hold medical marijuana cards and otherwise qualify.”
“We hold that the Federal Gun Control Act does not pre-empt the state's concealed handgun licensing statute and, therefore, the sheriffs must issue (or renew) the requested licenses,” Chief Justice Paul De Muniz wrote in the ruling issued in Salem.
The case stemmed from the situation of one Cynthia Willis, 54. “She uses marijuana cookies, joints and salves to treat arthritis pain and muscle spasms,” the AP noted, with a prescription from her doctor. She also had a concealed carry permit. When it came time for renewing it, the sheriff in her county refused to do so, citing Willis’ drug use as a disqualifying factor.
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“Elmer Dickens, a lawyer representing the sheriffs of Washington and Jackson counties, said the ruling provided needed clarification on whether the defendants should follow federal or state law on what has been a cloudy issue. Dickens did not anticipate an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, because the ruling focused so tightly on state law.”
“Every [Oregon] sheriff knows now what the rules are, and we got what we needed,” Dickens said.”
SOURCE: AP 5/18/11
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