CHICAGO — Viral social media posts claim buying legal weed could get you entered into a database and prohibit you from buying a weapon — but like many fake stories on Facebook, it’s simply not true.
The myth, which has spread like wildfire on Facebook and YouTube, claims those who buy weed from a dispensary (which became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1) will be entered into a database. Being in the database supposedly could hinder, or even stop, a person’s ability to legally purchase a gun.
But it’s simply not true.
The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) attempted to stop the rumor from spreading on New Year’s Eve, sending an email to members letting them know their rights — which include accessing an FOID card and purchasing legal weed in Illinois.
“Our job at ISRA is to help you navigate laws that could have an adverse effect on your 2nd amendment rights,” the group wrote.
They went on to explain that though federal law prohibits “unlawful users” of cannabis and other drugs from purchasing a firearm, Illinois’ new law clearly states those who legally purchase weed at a licensed state dispensary are “lawful” users.
Even if this confuses you, the ISRA — and state law — goes on to say that dispensaries cannot share your personal information with anyone — including the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).
While officials vow there will be no issue getting an FOID card or purchasing a weapon after buying recreational cannabis, the ISRA said medical cannabis patients may be rejected when attempting to purchase a firearm.
Since medical cannabis prescriptions appear in medical records, the federal government could flag those records and reject a gun purchase.
“If you intend to use cannabis and own a firearm taking the recreational cannabis route has less potential, detrimental effects on your 2nd Amendment rights than the medical cannabis route,” the ISRA writes.
State Sen. Laura Ellman tweeted about the myth to debunk it, and Chicago Police confirmed they aren’t tracking people who purchase weed legally.
“Certainly not true for the Chicago Police Department and I’m unaware of a state law like this,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police spokesman.
Illinois State Police also took to social media in an effort to debunk the rumors. Driving stoned is definitely not allowed, they said. But “the Illinois State Police will not revoke Firearm’s Owner’s Identification Cards based solely on a person’s legal use of adult use cannabis,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.
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