Guns and Weed in Arkansas

guns and weed

Great news! A new Arkansas gun law has made it legal for medical marijuana patients in Arkansas to own guns.   The law, titled ACT 757, makes it legal or registered caregivers and medical marijuana cardholders to obtain and carry a concealed weapon.  

What is the gun bill, and what are the benefits, and most importantly, how does it affect your access to medical marijuana? 

Medical Marijuana and Gun Ownership

Marijuana and gun ownership have a very rocky, weirdly codependent relationship. This is because cannabis remains federally illegal and a controlled substance.   The government insists that marijuana consumers, even with medical licenses, cannot consume and enjoy cannabis and also own a gun.  

Consuming cannabis while owning a gun can lead to serious consequences. The ATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)  has stated that when anyone is using any marijuana,from any source, it is considered federally as an “unlawful user” and therefore are not allowed to own a gun.  They are not eligible for gun ownership.  

This is true for even medical marijuana patients. Medical marijuana patients can lose their Second Amendment rights if they fail drug screenings.  Restrictions such as these force individuals to make a very difficulty choice between what are two constitutionally protected rights.   In states like Arkansas, however, lawmakers are working to do something about it. 

In Arkansas, as in most states with medical marijuana,  previous gun laws have stipulated that you cannot buy a firearm if you’re a medical marijuana user or cardholder.   So, even though medical marijuana is legal, MMJ cardholders cannot buy a gun and register it. 

Also, Arkansas citizens are disqualifiied from obtaining or carrying a concealed handgun license if they are in violation of Arkansas laws related to marijuana. 

Finally, all of this has changes, thanks to a new Arkansas gun law.

Arkansas Laws Protect Medical MMJ Cardholder Gun Owners

Arkansas lawmakers passed landmark legislation in April of 2023 to protect medical marijuana cardholders who also own guns. ACT 757 allows gun carriers to obtain their concealed carry licenses, while also consuming medical MMJ.

This new gun law surprisingly quickly passed in both the House and Senate. Gun owners and MMJ cardholders get the protection they deserve from this new law.  Now that the governor has signed it to become law, ACT 757 makes it legal to carry a concealed weapon for a medical marijuana cardholder or registered caregiver. 

A person’s status as a MMJ patient or registered  caregiver will be eligible to be issued a concealed handgun license, the law explicitly states.

Aaron Pilkington, State Representaive and the bill’s original sponsor, said that the new gun law harmonizes the state’s medical marijuana law with Arkansas gun policy.   Representative Pilkington 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.”

Not only do these laws protect MMJ cardholders, but they also expand to caregivers, allowing them access to gun ownership.   

Gun ownership for medical marijuana patients and caregivers have been hotly debated since medical cannabis was legalized in 2016.  Many marijuana consumers have experienced a lot of discomfort while looking to prioritize safety for themselves and their households. Now, Arkansas medical cannabis patients and gun owners have more protection than in most states, which is a huge win and a source of pride for Arkansas citizens.

A medical marijuana card is one of the most beneficial things you can have for your health in Arkansas.   With this new Arkansas gun law, gun owners won’t be exempt either.   With your medical marijuana card, you have access to plant-based, holistic medical options that both your body and your brain will love.  Not only that, you won’t have to worry anymore about legal woes, as long as other state regulations surrounding MMJ are followed, obviously. 

Getting your medical marijuana card in Arkansas isn’t difficult.   For your first appointment, you must be seen in person, but after your first appointment, your renewals can be done over the phone or computer.   You don’t even need to schedule an appointment to meet with a doctor.   And you don’t need to empty your wallet.   SwiftieMed cards are just $49, so you’ll have a lot of money left to spend at the dispensary (or anywhere else you choose).   After you work with our doctors one-on-one, you can finish your renewal effortlessly through the state of Arkansas website.   

It’s never been easier to get your medical marijuana card, and it comes with more benefits and less risk than ever before. 

Book your first-time and renewal appointment with SwiftieMed.  In person visits are required for your first card, but renewals can be done entirely online. All you have to do is go to SwiftieMed to get started.  

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