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Guns or marijuana? You'll need to pick one

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Apr 05, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Smoking recreational marijuana is now legal in New York State, but that doesn't mean gun laws associated with marijuana have changed.

According to Legal Expert Florina Altshiler, the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the ownership of guns for anyone who is in possession of marijuana. That means, there must be a choice between being a gun owner or a marijuana smoker.

"Anyone who uses marijuana is going to qualify as an unlawful user of an abused substance even though it is technically lawful," Altshiler said.

Background checks will still be required to purchase a gun. It is then that a person would have to notify the ATF of marijuana smoking. According to Altshiler, that is the only real way that this will be enforced.

"Of course if you're not convicted of a crime related to marijuana or have a medical card, there's really no way of knowing if someone is or isn't a marijuana user," Altshiler said.

With the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 superseding the state legalization of recreational marijuana, an arrest would only be for illegal possession of a firearm, not for marijuana.

"There is no charge for marijuana possession," Altshiler said, "of course, depending on quantity."

This is currently in effect and will also pertain to those who work in the marijuana industry.