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.

MORE FROM YOUNG VOICES

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.

Countless leaders on the left are now arguing that removing President Donald Trump from office won't be enough — they're now calling for the president's "cult-like" supporters to be "deprogrammed." And it's not just fringe politicians.

During an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week, former NBC anchor Katie Couric said, "The question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump."

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi questioned whether the nation needs "a 9/11-type commission" to determine whether President Trump was colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin "the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol." Clinton also made sure to include her favorite "deplorables" in her unsubstantiated conspiracy theory:

"But we now know that not just [Trump] but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members, have the same disregard for democracy," Clinton said to Pelosi.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and New York Times Magazine's Nikole Hannah-Jones agreed that there is a need for "millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans" to be deprogrammed and punished, during an MSNBC interview last week.

Now, a story from the Washington Post is also preaching that narrative and even added that we need more restrictions for conservatives on social media and in the broadcast industry.

"So now we have to be deprogrammed? We've heard this over and over and over and over again, for months," said Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday. He read through the shocking details of the Washington Post op-ed and discussed the extraordinary dangers of the latest anti-conservative movement in America.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

As calls for censorship and restrictions against conservative voices get louder, Glenn Beck said he feels an "awesome responsibility" to speak, not the words he'd personally like to say, but those he believes the Lord would want him to share.

"It's an awesome responsibility, and one that I am not worthy of," Glenn said. "I want to say ... what He wants me to say. And I have to listen very carefully, because I feel the same way you do. But that will get us nowhere."

Glenn said it's time for Americans who are awake — not woke — to come together, no matter which side of the political aisle you're on, and stand with the truth.

"We are the Alamo, we will stand. But we desperately, desperately need you," Glenn said. "We need the people who are awake — not woke — awake. You may disagree with us. We are your allies, not your enemies. And if you will not stand with us in our hour of need, there will be no one left to stand with you in your hour of need. We must all come together, anyone who is awake."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The incoming Biden administration plans to waste no time in overturning much of the progress achieved by President Donald Trump.

On his radio program Monday, Glenn Beck ran through 10 executive orders President Joe Biden plans to announce on "day one" of his time in office — including rejoining the Paris climate accord, canceling the Keystone pipeline, mask mandates on federal land and during interstate travel, and a proposed federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Eric Weinstein, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital and host of "The Portal" podcast, is not a conservative, but he says conservative and center-right-affiliated media are the only ones who will still allow oppositional voices.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Eric told Glenn that the center-left media, which "controls the official version of events for the country," once welcomed him, but that all changed about eight years ago when they started avoiding any kind of criticism by branding those who disagree with them as "alt-right, far-right, neo-Nazi, etc.," even if they are coming from the left side of the aisle. But their efforts to discredit critical opinions don't stop there. According to Eric, there is a strategy being employed to destroy our national culture and make sure Americans with opposing views do not come together.

"We're trifling with the disillusionment of our national culture. And our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us," Eric said. "I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we're there now."

In the clip below, Eric explains why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast.

Don't miss the full interview with Eric Weinstein here.

Want to listen to more Glenn Beck podcasts?

Subscribe to Glenn Beck's channel on YouTube for FREE access to more of his masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, or subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.