In 2006, Rhode Island officially legalized medical marijuana within the state allowing qualifying patients to register themselves and then consume/possess/purchase medical marijuana products as per their respective needs.
Three years later, in 2009, the state even took the initiative to legalize sales of marijuana-based products through licensed dispensaries. Unfortunately, it took well around seven more years for the state to finally allow registered medical marijuana patients to get required products from licensed sellers/dispensaries.
Today, about a decade and a half has passed since Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana, but does the state protect the legal rights of its registered medical marijuana residents such as the right to own a gun?
Well, when it comes to medical marijuana patients and their right to own a gun, things become a bit confusing. The state itself doesnât have any legislation that prevents a registered medical marijuana patient from owning a firearm. But at the same time, federal legislation disqualifies anyone from owning a gun if theyâre consuming marijuana products (yes, even if it is for medical reasons).
Taking My Gun To a Dispensary in Rhode Island: Is It a Good Idea?
As per the Rhode Island law, the law enforcement unit âshall issueâ firearms licenses to individuals who do seem fit to own a firearm, have a good reason to fear injury to themselves or their property, or have any other proper reason to have a licensed firearm in their possession. Even if an individual has a license to carry around a firearm in Rhode Island, the following places are off-limits for gun owners,
- The property of a public or private elementary/secondary school or in those sections of a building, stadium, or any other structure on school grounds that are being used for an activity sponsored by a school in the state of Rhode Island
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal/state law
- State/national parks (WMAs and forests included)
- Airport security/secured area
- Any place under the influence of alcohol/drugs
Note that a dispensary is not included in the list of off-limit areas for licensed gun owners meaning that you can legally carry a firearm there following the proper licensing channel.
Consuming CBD Products and Owning a Gun in Rhode Island
Fortunately, CBD oil-based products are permitted in Rhode Island. However, you must be 21 years or older and the CBD products need to be industrial-hemp driven with THC content up to 0.3%. Also, youâre legally permitted to consume CBD products and have a firearm license in Rhode Island at the same time.
Our expert opinion
When it comes to developing a progressive medical marijuana program in the course of the last few years, the state of Rhode Island has clearly shown some prominent progress. But in matters like safeguarding and providing legal protection to its registered medical marijuana patients so they can legally own a firearm, the state definitely needs to develop some concrete laws to end any confusion related to this matter once and for all.