Hawaii's Weed-and-Gun Blunder Should Be a Wake-up Call to Gun Owners

In November, news broke that medical marijuana cardholders received letters signed by Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, informing them they had 30 days to turn in their firearms. While Hawaiian police may be backpedaling after tremendous public backlash, the whole situation serves as a reminder of the danger of mandatory registries cataloging anything the state might want to later criminalize or regulate. Be it guns, vices, medication or otherwise, it seems state actors find it hard to resist abusing resources predicated on the trust of their citizens.

Hawaii is one of 29 states that have decriminalized and allowed the medical use of marijuana, and the state mandates registration of medical marijuana users. It is also the only state that requires registration of all firearms. This comes as a result of a tortured interplay of federal and state law, calculated to deprive Hawaiians of their fundamental right to defensive arms.

As the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) makes clear in their updated form 4473 used for most firearms transactions, the “use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal...purposes in the state where you reside.” But it isn’t the federal government demanding the guns of Hawaiians here, it is their own state government, using vague and rarely-enforced federal law designed to target violent drug traffickers to transform an effort to legalize marijuana into a license to strip people of their arms --- a transformation the Hawaiian people didn’t want or vote for.

Hawaii is using the same logic that groups marijuana in with meth, heroin and crack.

Surely few people who supported Hawaii’s legalization of medical marijuana contemplated the state launching a campaign to disarm cardholders. If a desire to disarm anyone who registered for medical marijuana had been clear from the outset, perhaps the Hawaiian people would have been unenthused about the Medical Cannabis Program. It makes no sense for Hawaii to legalize marijuana, departing from federal law, just to turn around and vigorously enforce a tangentially-related federal law that strips different rights away from the people.

Federal law prohibits users of illegal drugs from owning guns for mostly the same reasons it prohibits drugs in the first place. The Ninth Circuit highlighted this last year when they reasoned that marijuana, because it is an illegal drug, is associated with violence and “negative interactions with law enforcement officers.” In states like Hawaii where marijuana is all but legal, though, these justifications don’t make sense.

When Hawaii decided to diverge from the federal prohibition of marijuana, they abandoned the federal government’s reasons for banning marijuana. However, by using federal law to require marijuana patients to turn in their guns, Hawaii is using the same logic that groups marijuana in with meth, heroin and crack. It makes no sense for a state which legalized marijuana --- presumably because they disagreed with the absolute federal prohibition --- to use the same law to disarm marijuana users.

All it would take is a signature.

The most dangerous part of this situation is the fact that these authorities have everything they need to conduct out-and-out confiscation. They know who has medical marijuana cards, and where every legally-held gun is. A developed registry makes invasive, possibly violent confiscation mere inches from implementation at any moment. All it would take is a signature once the state has a detailed list of which doors to kick, as they do here.

We have to remember that firearms are the best mechanism for personal defense, and their ownership is a fundamental Constitutional right. What might be called a “common sense” piece of gun control legislation turns out to be quite dangerous when applied by the state in a manner that defies common sense, as demonstrated here. Luckily, Hawaii is the only state that currently requires the registration of all firearms. Other states limit registration requirements to certain types of weapons, such as “assault weapons” and machine guns.

Events in the recent past highlight the dangers inherent in a registry of gun owners. All too often, these registries are used against lawful gun owners when their guns are most needed. For example, direct-to-door confiscations were ordered by the governor of the Virgin Islands during Hurricane Irma, leaving the islands’ inhabitants defenseless in the face of a natural disaster with little explanation. Widespread confiscation is made easy by mandatory firearms registration, which empowered the Virgin Islands’ confiscation efforts.

A neatly compiled list of guns and their owners is an incredibly powerful tool.

One thing is clear: a neatly compiled list of guns and their owners is an incredibly powerful tool. The question is whether you can trust arbitrary and irrational actors with such tools. Hawaii, California, and other jurisdictions in the Ninth Circuit have done enough to cripple the rights of their people to keep and bear arms. These lawmakers don’t need registries to help them, and they can’t be trusted with them. Hawaiian police should be spending their resources keeping their people safe, not targeting people for trying to legally take a drug commonly associated with giggling and junk food consumption.

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Matthew Larosiere is a Legal Associate at a Washington, D.C. think tank. He holds a J.D. and LL.M in taxation and is pending admission to the Florida Bar. He is a Young Voices Advocate and can be found on Twitter @MattLaAtLaw.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 486,702 (up from 434,595 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 22,022 (up from 19,603 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 117,448 (up from 111,853 Yesterday)
  • 4% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 4% Yesterday, and down from 19% in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases do currently require Hospitalization, but that number is expected to drop toward the international average as more people are diagnosed through testing.
  • US has 65,581 Confirmed cases and 1,036 Deaths, up from 54,941 cases and 784 Deaths yesterday
  • US has 428 total officially recovered, against 1,036 official deaths. Again, US numbers are expected to normalize toward international averages as more mild cases are diagnosed.

Brother, Can You Spare $2 Trillion? https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-stimulus-bill-updates-whats-in-the-2-trillion-relief-plan.html
  • US Senate Passes the largest economic stimulus bill in world history.
  • The Senate passes a roughly $2 trillion economic relief plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It includes direct payments to Americans, strengthened unemployment insurance, loans to businesses small and large and increased health care resources for hospitals, states and municipalities.
  • Loans to small businesses are technically 'grants' covering payroll and rent payments. Grants do not have to be repaid.
  • It is unclear when the House will pass the legislation, though it aims to do so Friday.
Every American Will Get $1,200 in 2-3 Weeks, $2,400 plus up to 4 months Unemployment Benefits https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8152139/Every-American-four-months-unemployment-checks-earning-95-000.htm
  • Workers will get four months of unemployment pay plus additional $600 each.
  • Direct checks to Americans include 1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year before phasing out and ending altogether for those earning more than $99,000
  • That would result in $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with an additional $500 per child for each household.
  • 'Our expectation is within three weeks we will have direct payments out,' Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
Cuomo Confirms What Introverts Have Long Known: Social Distancing Works https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3077011/coronavirus-new-york-governor-andrew-cuomo-says-early-signs-show-social
  • Stringent density control measures may be working to contain the coronavirus in New York state, the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in the US, as the rate of hospitalization shows early signs of abating, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.
  • New York, which has 19 million residents and nearly 31,000 infections, now accounts for 56 per cent of the confirmed cases in the country and more than 7 percent of the world's total.
  • Cuomo had ordered all but essential businesses to shutter by Sunday evening and residents to limit their outdoor activities and practice social distancing, effectively putting the state on pause.
  • On Tuesday, the number of hospitalized patients had doubled every 4.7 days, slowing from the rate of every 3.4 days on Monday and every two days on Sunday, Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing.
  • "This is a very positive sign," he said. "The arrows are heading into the right direction."
Were the Beads Worth It? Mardi Gras Gets Blame for Big Easy Outbreak https://news.trust.org/item/20200325200808-oc1ie
  • "Mardi Gras was the perfect storm, it provided the perfect conditions for the spread of this virus," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, who heads up Louisiana State University's health care services division.
  • She noted that Fat Tuesday fell on Feb. 25, when the virus was already in the United States but before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and national leaders had raised the alarm with the American public.
  • "New Orleans had its normal level of celebration, which involved people congregating in large crowds and some 1.4 million tourists," Gee said. "We shared drink cups. We shared each other's space in the crowds. People were in close contact with catching beads. It is now clear that people also caught coronavirus."
  • New Orleans is on track to become the next coronavirus epicenter in the United States, dimming hopes that less densely populated and warmer-climate cities would escape the worst of the pandemic, and that summer month could see it wane.
  • Authorities have warned the number of cases in New Orleans could overwhelm its hospitals by April 4.
  • New Orleans is the biggest city in Louisiana, the state with the third-highest caseload of coronavirus in the United States on a per capita basis.
  • The growth rate in Louisiana tops all others, according to a University of Louisiana at Lafayette analysis of global data, with the number of cases rising by 30% in the 24 hours before noon on Wednesday.
  • On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a major federal disaster declaration for the state, freeing federal funds and resources.
US Military Officially On No-Travel Lockdown https://news.trust.org/item/20200325203242-zgoc4
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper has issued a "stop all movement" order to the U.S. military halting travel and movement abroad for up to 60 days in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus through the ranks.
  • The measure is by far the Defense Department's most sweeping to date and will affect forces around the world.
  • Esper said in an interview that the order applied to all U.S. troops, civilian personnel and families, but noted that there would be some exceptions.
  • "The purpose is to make sure that we're not bringing the virus back home, infecting others, that we're not spreading it around the military," Esper said.
  • The order does include personnel who were to have been scheduled to be formally discharged from the Military in April or May.
  • Esper said one exception to the order would be the drawdown underway in Afghanistan, which will continue.
For The Best Darn Facemask In The Whole Wide World... https://www.foxnews.com/us/mypillow-other-us-companies-making-face-masks-to-meet-coronavirus-shortages
  • In Minnesota, the MyPillow company is refocusing 75 percent of its production to face masks for health care workers.
  • "We have the capacity to make a lot of things at big rates and we're going to be going hopefully from 10,000 units a day to 50,000 units a day in a very short period of time," CEO Mike Lindell told FOX 9 of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
  • The masks will go to hospitals in Minnesota as well as other states, he said. "Whatever it takes."
  • MyPillow worked with the Trump administration to get the proper design, Lindell told local Fox News 9.
  • Lindell joins literally hundreds of other companies in the US who have heeded the call of the Trump Administration to covert production to respirators, masks, ventilators, gowns and other needed medical equipment.
Further Evidence that COVID-19 Is Seasonal and May Spread Less in Summer Months https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-could-become-seasonal-top-us-scientist-001146451.html
  • There is a strong chance the new coronavirus could return in seasonal cycles, a senior US scientist said Wednesday, underscoring the urgent need to find a vaccine and effective treatments.
  • Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.
  • "What we're starting to see now... in southern Africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that we're having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season," he said.
  • "And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we'll get a cycle around the second time," Fauci said, referring to a 2nd cycle in the US late next fall in November or December.
  • "It totally emphasizes the need to do what we're doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly and trying to get it ready so that we'll have a vaccine available for that next cycle."
  • Fauci's comments suggesting the virus does better in colder weather than it does in hot and humid conditions follows a recent Chinese research paper -- still preliminary and awaiting peer-review -- that reached the same conclusion.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 434,595 (up from 392,156 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 19,603 (up from 17,138 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 111,853 (up from 102,850 Yesterday)
  • All 195 Countries On Earth have confirmed cases Antarctica (not a country) Still No Confirmed Cases. Penguins officially confirmed to NOT be carriers for COVID-19.
  • 4% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) down from 5% Yesterday, and down from 19% in February
  • Note that 13% of US Confirmed Cases do currently require Hospitalization, but that number is expected to drop toward the international average as more people are diagnosed through testing.
  • US has 54,941 Confirmed cases and 784 Deaths, up from 46,168 cases and 582 Deaths yesterday
  • US has 379 total officially recovered, against 784 official deaths. Again, US numbers are expected to normalize toward international averages as more mild cases are diagnosed.

LA County Sherrif Orders Gun Stores Closed https://www.foxla.com/news/la-county-sheriff-orders-gun-stores-to-close-adds-1300-deputies-to-patrol
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared gun stores as nonessential businesses that will be forced to close.
  • The Sherrif also confirmed that he's released 1,700 nonviolent inmates from county jails.
  • Villanueva also said he's adding 1,300 deputies to patrol.
America Loses 500,000 Millionaires to COVID-19 - Bernie Sanders Elated https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/america-e2-80-99s-millionaire-ranks-shrink-by-500000-in-record-time/ar-BB11DrqN
  • At the close of 2019, there were an unprecedented 11 million American millionaires, a reflection of the longest bull market in history thanks to ultra-low interest rates and tax cuts.
  • Fast forward just a few months and it's a starkly different picture. The number of households in the U.S. above that threshold has dropped by at least 500,000 as of Friday, according to research firm Spectrem Group.
  • The tandem financial and health crises wrought by COVID-19 have disproportionately eroded the fortunes of the wealthy, who are more likely to own equities than the overall population.
  • At the end of 2019, the top 1% of households owned 53.5% of equities and mutual fund shares, according to Federal Reserve statistics.
  • The losses affected the rich at every level, from the mass affluent to those worth more than $25 million, according to the report. The wealth destruction at the very top has been especially steep, with the top 1% of households losing over $7.9 Trillion in wealth so far in 2020.
50% of Americans Living Under Shelter In Place or Home Quarantine Orders https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/more-than-half-of-us-population-will-be-under-orders-to-stay-home-by-midweek
  • The majority of the public will be ordered to stay home in the coming days as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation.
  • A total of 13 states and at least 16 municipalities have enacted measures to keep residents inside their homes to prevent the spread of the virus, according to CNN.
  • That number, which amounts to 148,577,262 people, or 45% of the population, is expected to grow this week as five more states and nine more municipalities institute additional measures.
  • After the new orders go into effect, a total of 176,385,537 people, or 54% of the population, will be asked to stay home.
  • Many states and cities have not named a specific date, although some, such as LA County and the State of New York, have identified April 19th as the target 'end' of the at-home quarantine orders.
Uniformed Military Personnel Set Up Make-shift Morgue Outside NYC Hospital https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/makeshift-morgue-for-coronavirus-victims-set-up-outside-nyc-hospital/
  • In a scene reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies (and more recently China, Italy and Spain), US Military personnel have set up a tent-based morgue outside of Bellvue Hospital in NYC.
  • Two refrigerated trailers were trucked to the site at 30th Street and the FDR Drive, along with a customized RV with a printed sign labeled: "MOBILE COMMAND CENTER — MEDICAL EXAMINER."
  • A team of men wearing camouflage fatigues and face masks set up a series of white tents that form a tunnel to a larger, white tent.
  • Other men wearing jackets that identified them as members of the NYPD and the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were also at the scene.
  • A source familiar with the operation said that additional refrigerated trailers would be brought to the site and that similar set-ups would be built up outside other hospitals.
  • "The plan is for them to be there and throughout the city," the source said, with as many as 6 temporary morgue locations near hospitals in New York City.
UV Rays Proven to Destroy SARS-Cov-2 Virus https://www.accuweather.com/en/health-wellness/what-infection-rates-in-iceland-and-australia-may-reveal-about-how-covid-19-could-spread-in-the-us/707057
  • The infection rate for COVID-19 is 22 times higher in Iceland as compared to Australia.
  • The research comes as scientists in Hong Kong demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, is easily destroyed with UV light, just like all other known Coronaviruses.
  • "Direct exposure to UV light breaks down the membrane that houses the RNA of the virus," Dr Lon Kiang, lead researcher of the study said. Without the membrane, the virus cannot attach itself to healthy cells in the human body.
  • "This was expected, but is still certainly good news," he said.
  • Researchers said the findings may indicate that the virus will have a harder time spreading during warmer summer months, when more UV light strikes surfaces, including clothing and human skin, which may contain viral particles.
  • Scientists warned against directly and intentionally exposing skin to UV lights, which can cause burns and carries other risks, such as Cancer.

The mainstream media and the left are eager to report anything negative about President Donald Trump, even if it turns out to be Chinese Communist Party propaganda and disinformation.

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Diagnosed with pneumonia and coronavirus, Rio Giardinieri, 52, was admitted to the ICU at Joe DiMaggio hospital in South Florida. After more than a week without showing any improvement, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do. Desperately ill, Giardinieri started saying his "goodbyes" to family and friends.

That's when a friend told him there was a potential "cure" for coronavirus, an anti-malaria drug called hydroxycloroquine. Though doctors at the hospital said they couldn't prescribe hydroxycloroquine, they put Giardinieri in touch with an infectious disease doctor who authorized the use. The next morning, he says he woke up feeling "absolutely perfect."

Giardinieri joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to share his remarkable story and to weigh in on why he thinks information about this promising treatment for COVID-19 isn't being made more readily available.

"I'm not a scientist. I'm not a doctor. I can just tell you how I feel. And I know that I was not doing well. In my mind, I didn't believe I was going to be here by the morning," Giardinieri said. "I don't know what else to attribute [for recovery] but that medicine ... and it's not just me that it's worked for. There're many people this has worked for. So, you know, I certainly understand the hospital's position. They may not be too happy me telling the story. But the facts are the facts."

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