Opinion

Medical marijuana activist pollinates gun politics | Firearms Lawyer

Steve Sarich, the Kirkland medical marijuana activist who was wounded by a shotgun blast in the face and the arm, used guns to stop a home invasion last month.

According to King County, his paperwork authorizing him to use and grow marijuana for medical reasons was enough to deny him the possession of weapons.

After the attempted March 15 robbery, the police took Sarich’s weapons. When he went to buy a shotgun and pistol to replace weapons taken by the police, the National Instant Check System (NICS) denied his gun transaction. Federal law prohibits “unlawful users” of controlled substances from buying guns. Mr. Sarich has no criminal record.

After a previous burglary, the King County Sheriff’s office sent a police report to the NICS, the FBI unit that determines who can possess guns. Possession of a medical drug card is sufficient to establish an inference of current drug use, according to the sheriff’s office records unit. The Code of Federal Regulations defines an unlawful user or person addicted to any controlled substance as follows: A person who uses a controlled substance and has lost the power of self-control with reference to the use of controlled substance; and any person who is a current user of a controlled substance in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as NICS look at evidence of recent use or possession of a controlled substance. In Sarich’s case, the fact that he has publicly advocated on behalf of medical marijuana users, and operates in areas that test the limits of U.S. drug laws, raises the issue of targeting by local and federal officials.

Joseph Stalin bragged that he could find a crime to convict any Soviet citizen. He made the claim knowing that the Soviet criminal code contained so many varieties of economic crime that anything could be contraband. Even as the pendulum progresses toward more liberal marijuana laws, people like Sarich are being targeted for home invasion and robbery.

Three years ago, Sarich’s former Everett home was raided by state law enforcement officials who seized more than 1,000 plants. Even though King County referred the case to the Department of Justice, charges were never filed. But Sarich has now used not one, but two guns to defend his home.

I wonder which way the pendulum is swinging for gun owners when so-called Christian militia members are in federal custody on gun charges and for allegedly conspiring to kill police officers. The Department of Justice has shown the world that Karl Rove and Co. used Islamic terrorism to justify conduct that Obama Inc. believes was illegal.

Just as National Health Care was enacted despite public outrage, the federal government exposes rightist conspiracies to commit murder. Anyone that plans to kill innocent people should be prosecuted. But the new theme pollinating mainstream news outlets is that Tea Party activists, Sarah Palin and talk radio are propagating the climate of violence.

Every citizen is in the crosshairs of government when laws are enforced selectively.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 14
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates