Annapolis, MD- A bill that would protect the firearms rights of medical cannabis users in Maryland ran into a roadblock in the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday.    

SB190, sponsored by Senate Minority Whip Michael J. Hough, R- Frederick and Carroll, would remove medical cannabis usage as a reason to deny a person the right to purchase or carry a firearm. 

Despite unanimous passage in the Senate, the bill has been amended since moving into the House. 

Sen. Michael J. Hough, R-Frederick and Carroll, speaks to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Jan. 20, 2021. (Screenshot by Darryl Kinsey Jr. /Capital News Service)

The first set of amendments, adopted on Thursday, added regulations to the manufacture and transfer of certain unfinished parts of a firearm in order to protect against the proliferation of untraceable firearms. 

The bill was then altered again with the adoption of an amendment presented by Del. C.T. Wilson, D-Charles. 

Hough, disappointed, released the following statement to Capital News Service:

“It is a shame the House voted against assisting in many cases veterans who are suffering from PTSD who use medical marijuana and own firearms,” he wrote.  Yes
“Maryland citizens should not be forced to choose between medical marijuana and forfeiting their Second Amendment rights.”

That amendment would strike provisions allowing those with medical cannabis cards to purchase or possess a firearm. 

Wilson said that the bill could create confusion between state and federal law, where possession of a firearm by marijuana users is illegal. 

The amendment would bring Maryland back in line with federal law, Wilson said. 

Del. Robin L. Grammer, Jr. R-Baltimore County, stood in dissent to Wilson’s motion. 

Grammar argued that the amendment would unfairly limit the rights of medical cannabis users. 

Despite the objection, the amendment was adopted on Thursday.

Minority Leader Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke motioned for the bill to be recommitted to the Judiciary Committee, but that motion failed 96-39.

The bill has been scheduled for review again in the House on Saturday.

Wilson’s amendment creates a contrast between the bill’s original posture and statements made by Hough on Jan. 20. 

During a hearing in front of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Hough said the law would fix a “clear contradiction” in Maryland law. 

“Since medical cannabis is legal in this state, it should not conflict with one’s right to own a firearm,” Hough said. 

The bill received unanimous support in witness testimony, with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and the Maryland Medical Dispensary Association writing in support.

The cross-file of the bill, HB543 sponsored by Del. Kevin B. Hornberger, R-Cecil, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on March 10.

Hornberger stated that passage of the bill would allow law-abiding citizens in Maryland who want to own a firearm to continue to do so. 

The House version did not receive a vote in committee.

Hough, disappointed, released the following statement to Capital News Service:

“It is a shame the House voted against assisting in many cases veterans who are suffering from PTSD who use medical marijuana and own firearms,” he wrote.

“Maryland citizens should not be forced to choose between medical marijuana and forfeiting their Second Amendment rights.”

This article originally appeared on CNSMaryland.org on Friday, April 9, 2021.


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