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Federal court rules that medical marijuana card holders can be denied gun ownership

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A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld federal regulations that prevented a woman with a medical marijuana card from buying a firearm in Nevada, in a ruling that cited the government’s interest in preventing gun violence.

In upholding a lower-court ruling, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set a legal precedent that lower courts in the western U.S. states under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit must follow in similar cases.

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The lawsuit was brought by S. Rowan Wilson, who in 2011 obtained a medical marijuana card in Nevada and a few months later sought to buy a firearm in the small town of Mound House.

The firearms dealer, who knew Wilson had a medical marijuana card, refused to sell her the gun, according to court papers.

Like other firearms dealers, he had received a directive from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) advising dealers against selling guns to medical marijuana users, according to court papers.

Medical marijuana is allowed in Nevada and more than 20 other U.S. states, but the drug remains banned under federal law.

Wilson, who claimed she had a medical marijuana card but did not use the drug, filed a lawsuit in Nevada against the federal government, claiming her rights under the U.S. Constitution were violated by the ATF letter to gun dealers.

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In 2014, a district court judge granted a motion from federal attorneys to dismiss the case, prompting Wilson to appeal the decision. The Ninth Circuit panel upheld the lower-court’s decision to throw out the case.

The appeals court, in a 30-page opinion from Judge Jed Rakoff, acknowledged Wilson’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had been infringed to some extent.

But it said the government had a “substantial interest” in preventing gun violence by seeking to prevent drug users from possessing firearms and that it was reasonable to assume someone with a medical pot card would use the drug.

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“It is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely … to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior,” Rakoff wrote in the opinion.

A representative for the National Rifle Association could not immediately be reached for comment.

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“Seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana should be treated the same as patients who use any other doctor-approved medication,” the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Bill Rigby)


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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

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Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report

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Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.

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