Good news! A new Arkansas gun law has made it legal for medical marijuana patients in Arkansas to own guns.
But, what is this gun bill, what are the benefits, and how does it affect your access to marijuana? Let discuss.
The Problem With Marijuana and Gun Laws
First things first, it’s no secret that marijuana and gun laws have a very rocky relationship. This is because, at the federal level, cannabis is considered an illegal controlled substance.
Thus, the government insists that cannabis consumers — even licensed MMJ cardholders — cannot enjoy the plant and own a gun.
If you do consume cannabis while having a gun, the consequences can be quite serious. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has stated that anyone with any level of marijuana in their system is considered to be an ‘unlawful user’ and thus not eligible for gun ownership.
Even medical marijuana patients can lose their Second Amendment rights if they fail drug screenings.
These restrictions force individuals to make an incredibly difficult choice between two constitutionally protected rights. However, states like Arkansas are working to do something about it.
Previous Arkansas and Gun MMJ Laws
Like in most states with medical marijuana, the former Arkansas gun laws stipulated that you cannot buy a gun if you’re a medical marijuana cardholder. So, MMJ cardholders could not buy a gun and register it, even though medical marijuana is legal.
Also, any person found to be in violation of Arkansas laws related to marijuana will be disqualified from obtaining or carrying a concealed handgun license.
Thankfully, all of these have changed, thanks to the new Arkansas gun law.
New Arkansas Gun Law Would Protect MMJ Cardholders
In April of 2023, Arkansas legislators passed a landmark bill that would work to protect medical marijuana cardholders who also own guns.
This bill allows MMJ patients to still obtain their concealed carry licenses, despite being cannabis consumers.
Surprisingly, this new Arkansas gun law quickly passed in both the House and Senate. The new law gives cardholders and gun owners the protection—and relief—that they deserve.
It was up to the governor to sign it to become law, and he has now done just that.
The law titled ACT 757 makes it legal for medical marijuana cardholders and registered caregivers to acquire and carry a concealed weapon.
The law explicitly states that a person’s status as a medical marijuana patient or registered caregiver under Arkansas medical marijuana law will not be used as a determinant of their eligibility to be issued a concealed handgun license.
The bill’s original sponsor, State Representative Aaron Pilkington, said the new gun law harmonizes Arkansas gun policy with the state’s medical marijuana law.
He said: “Amendment 98 had language that said no patient’s right or privilege should be infringed upon on the basis of having medical marijuana. However, this wasn’t extended to concealed carry holders. There was an issue and a concern about what the federal law said. But now federal law says that gun rights should not be restricted based on patient status, and so no other prescriptions, whether it be opioids or others, prohibit somebody from having a concealed carry license.”
These laws also expand to caregivers, allowing them access to gun ownership.
Since Arkansas legalized medical marijuana in 2016, gun ownership and medical marijuana patient conversations have been hotly debated, causing a lot of discomfort for consumers looking to prioritize safety in their households.
This new bill provides more protection for gun owners and cannabis consumers than we’ve seen in most states. And this is a huge win for Arkansas MMJ cardholders.
The Various Benefits of Arkansas Medical Marijuana Cards
Having a medical marijuana card in Arkansas is one of the most beneficial choices you can make for your health — and with this new Arkansas gun law, gun owners won’t be exempt, either.
When you get a medical marijuana card, you gain access to holistic, plant-based medicinal options that your brain and body will love. Plus, you don’t have to worry about legal repercussions (as long as you follow the MMJ state regulations, of course).
In the past, getting your medical marijuana renewed was quite the hassle, but that’s not the case anymore. With telehealth platforms like Elevate Holistics, you don’t even have to go in person to see an MMJ doctor for your renewals anymore.
Instead, you simply book an appointment online and meet with one of our expert physicians over the phone or computer. Then, if they approve you, we can work with you one-on-one to register with the state and finish your renewal effortlessly.
Truly, having your medical marijuana card has never been so easy — and comes with more benefits than ever before.
Need to Renew? Do It With Elevate Holistics
Sadly, Arkansas regulations don’t allow residents to book first-time appointments via telehealth. Instead, you have to meet with an MMJ doctor in person to get your recommendation.
However, if you have a medical cannabis card and it’s set to expire soon — as they do every year — we can help you renew your certification 100% online.
And, as the new Arkansas gun law rolls out — or doesn’t roll out — we will be the first to let you know, clarifying any changes that may come with it.
If you’re ready to renew your Arkansas medical marijuana card and don’t want to leave the house, we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is click here or the CTA below to get started.