The Second Amendment protects the First, as the saying goes. Since I’ve pissed off an awful lot of people using the latter to warn people about the potential dangers of fake vapes and poorly grown weed, the Gentleman has decided to engage the former. ‘Tis better to live as a hypocrite than die like a bitch, as the bard might say. Now in the state of Maryland, medical cannabis patients are prohibited from owning firearms, but there is a path to legal gun ownership.
Weapons that Maryland Marijuana Patients Can Own
After a strange incident at my favorite bar set off my own paranoia, I called the Maryland State Police, who administer the firearm licensing program, to get the skinny. Three phone transfers put me in touch with a very nice lady who explained that I would have to forfeit my medical marijuana card, then wait one year from my last dispensary purchase to legally purchase a gun. Well, shucks, I thought, I guess I’ll have to invest in a better katana.
I decided to visit my local gun store first, as they typically sell other types of weapons and defensive equipment, to see what I was allowed to have as a medical cannabis patient. These folks were knowledgable about the self-defense challenge MMJ card holders face in the state of Maryland and showed me all the items they were allowed to sell me. These included:
- very potent pepper spray
- an expandable steel baton, or truncheon, that opens and locks into place with a simple wrist snap.
- a Stun Gun
What’s a Stun Gun?
“Stun Gun” is a bit of a misnomer. The kind that fires electrical darts is commonly known by the brand name Taser. Maryland medical marijuana patients are prohibited from getting one of those, just like they are with conventional firearms.
My UDAP Magnum Stun Gun is a handheld device similar in appearance to a men’s electric razor that has to be pressed directly against an attacker’s body. I did a test fire and the sinister electric hiss was loud enough to scare the sweet bejeezus out of my tiny, napping dog.
The UDAP Magnum Stun Gun produces a 2.7 million volt shock. While I’ve seen some debate online about measuring a Stun Gun’s stopping power in volts vs amps, nobody wants to be on the other end of anything that sounds like that, I gare-oun-tee.
Ok, so after the shop owner enthusiastically demonstrated how to operate each of these items, we’re feeling pretty good about our range of defensive tools. Nothing’s lethal, but there’s plenty in the kit to help us get away from a dangerous situation, even one involving multiple attackers, whom my lifelong nightmares would have me refer to as The Shadow Men. Provided we can see The Shadow Men coming, which is surely difficult, otherwise they’d be called The Men With Bells On or something similar.
But How Do I Get a Gun?
Ye Olde Weapons Shop pointed out to me that the forms for purchasing firearms don’t contain any language saying medical cannabis users can’t buy guns. What they ask specifically is this:
- Do you use cannabis?
- Are you a cannabis addict?
Both of these questions are asked in the present tense. In other words, if you can truthfully answer ‘no’ to both today, then you’re good to go, baby!
If I have medical marijuana card in Maryland, then yes, I would be considered a cannabis user for the first question. However, you can voluntarily revoke your own medical marijuana certification. Your doctor can pull it for you immediately upon request!
I used one of those medical marijuana specific doctor’s offices and it was just a few blocks from where I live, so right after I left the gun store, I stopped by the docs and told ’em to revoke my certification.
I had already quite dabbing cuz it made me sick. I was down to just a few hits of flower a day and had managed to skip a couple days of that already. Defending my life versus getting high was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I haven’t smoked even a smidgen since.
Other than a week of especially vivid dreams, I’ve suffered no ill effects. My little dog distracts me when I get stuck in obsessive thinking. I still find Letterkenny hilarious. We’re all good here.
Success! My First Shotgun
Revoking my medical marijuana certification was all it took to walk back into the shop the next day and out with my first shotgun, a pump-action Mossberg Maverick 88. Turns out my record is entirely clean, which I already knew, but figured I might have earned some scrutiny from federal agencies for my role as the Gentleman Toker. I’m actually a bit miffed about it, to tell you the truth, but I’m not about to argue with the Instant Proceed on my background check.
The shotgun was only $250, including a separate pistol grip, which seems remarkably cheap considering it could save my life one day, whether that be from the tendrils of the Shadow Men or by putting irradiated squirrel meat on the table in the apocalyptic wasteland to come.
Now I’ve gone back and taken my HQL class, which stands for Handgun Qualification License, and sent in my application to the Maryland State Police along with the $50 fee. The questions on that form were the same as when I applied for my shotgun, so fingers crossed I’ll be approved for a handgun in the next couple weeks! In the meantime, I need to hit the range to practice with the shotty and try out some different pistols so I know what I like to shoot when I get my license. I’ll let you know how it goes!