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Can You Hunt if You Have a Medical Card in Arkansas?

Yes, you can get a hunting license in Arkansas even with a medical marijuana card. The blog delves into the often misunderstood realm of gun ownership for medical marijuana patients in Arkansas. It tackles the delicate balance between state law and federal law, highlighting the challenges and considerations faced by medical marijuana cardholders who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights or obtain a hunting license.

A MAN hunting with a rifle wearing camouflage

Table of Contents:

The Intersection of Medical Marijuana and Gun Ownership Laws in Arkansas

The intersection of medical marijuana and gun ownership laws in Arkansas presents a complex legal scenario. Arkansas, a state with a significant number of gun owners and medical marijuana patients, faces a clash between state laws that recognize medical marijuana use and federal laws that categorize all marijuana use as illegal. Despite state protections, federal law prohibits marijuana users from purchasing guns, requiring all buyers to undergo a background check and fill out a Firearms Transaction Records form, where using marijuana disqualifies you from purchasing a firearm.

Federal law, specifically Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 922, designates the possession of firearms by those who use medical marijuana as a criminal offense, punishable by fines and imprisonment. This federal stance is further reinforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which has clearly stated that federal law does not exempt medical marijuana use.

While the Arkansas Department of Health protects patient information and does not actively share it with federal authorities, and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to target state-licensed marijuana cardholders, the risk of legal complications still exists. For example, if law enforcement observes a firearm in the possession of a medical marijuana cardholder, it could lead to criminal charges.

The ATF advises against gun ownership for medical marijuana users, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the view that federal marijuana prohibitions do not infringe upon Second Amendment rights, associating marijuana use with behavior that could disqualify an individual from gun ownership.

Key Takeaway: Despite state-level protections for medical marijuana users in Arkansas, federal law continues to override, placing gun owners who are medical marijuana patients in a precarious legal position.

For those in Arkansas considering medical marijuana, understanding these laws is crucial, and assistance is available through resources like ARCannabisClinic, which helps navigate these complex regulations. Additionally, understanding the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card is an essential step for patients.

"Arkansas' gun laws vs. federal regulations create a legal gray area for medical marijuana patients. Know the risks before you decide. #MedicalMarijuana #GunLaws #Arkansas #SecondAmendment" - Tweet This

Recent Legislative Changes Affecting Medical Marijuana Patients' Right to Bear Arms

The recent legislative changes in Arkansas reflect a significant shift regarding the intersection of gun rights and medical marijuana patients. Specifically, HB1784, which passed with strong support and was signed by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, came into effect on August 1, 2023. This law ensures that the Arkansas State Police cannot deny a concealed carry license solely based on an individual's status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. It also stops the State Department of Health from sharing patient information with State Police for these matters​.

Federal laws, particularly the Gun Control Act of 1968, however, continue to classify medical marijuana users as "unlawful users" of controlled substances, affecting their gun ownership rights at the federal level. For instance, the Firearms Transaction Record form 4473, required for purchasing firearms from federally licensed dealers, includes a question on unlawful controlled substance use, with an explicit warning about the illegality of marijuana under federal law​.

These state laws do not override federal restrictions but do remove the local enforcement of federal bans for medical marijuana users in Arkansas, creating a complex legal landscape. The state's move can be seen as part of a broader trend where local enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition is ending, thus reducing the number of marijuana-related arrests and reflecting the changing attitudes towards medical marijuana across the United States​.

Key Takeaway: While Arkansas has taken steps to protect the gun rights of medical marijuana patients at the state level, the ongoing federal prohibition of marijuana creates a challenging scenario, underscoring the tension between state reforms and federal laws.

For further insights into the rights and processes for medical marijuana patients, you might find the comprehensive state-by-state guide from ARCannabisClinic a useful resource to understand the evolving landscape of medical marijuana laws and rights​.

As you consider these nuances, remember this tweet-worthy thought:

"Arkansas is pioneering patient rights, balancing medical marijuana use with the Second Amendment, but federal laws still cast a shadow on this progress. #MedicalMarijuana #GunRights #ArkansasLaw #SecondAmendment" — feel free to Tweet This.

Understanding Arkansas' Amendment 98 and Its Impact on Medical Cannabis Users

Understanding Arkansas' Amendment 98 and its impact on medical cannabis users reveals a landscape of rights, regulations, and access that has evolved since its approval by voters. Amendment 98, passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions. Under this law, patients and designated caregivers can obtain medical marijuana after receiving certification from an Arkansas-licensed physician and registering with the Department of Health. This amendment has shaped the medical marijuana program in Arkansas, establishing guidelines for patient possession limits, consumption areas, and legal protections, including employment-related non-discrimination for qualified patients and caregivers​.

A key takeaway from the amendment is the establishment of a regulated system for medical cannabis access, with provisions for licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Home cultivation is not allowed, and localities have control over zoning restrictions for these establishments. The amendment provides patients the ability to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and sets forth locations where consumption is prohibited. Moreover, it imposes limitations on public use and operation of vehicles under the influence of cannabis. While it grants certain employment protections, it allows employers to enforce drug-free workplace policies​.

For those curious about the specifics of qualifying conditions, registration processes, or seeking more detailed advice, visiting ARCannabisClinic's guide to medical marijuana card qualifying conditions provides a wealth of information tailored to the needs of potential patients and their caregivers.

In the social media sphere, to engage the community in a conversation about the importance of understanding medical cannabis regulations, one might share:

"Arkansas' Amendment 98 has been pivotal in providing access to medical marijuana for those in need. Know your rights, understand the rules. #MedicalMarijuana #ArkansasAmendment98 #PatientRights" — a sentiment that can be echoed with a click: Tweet This.

While the amendment has laid a solid foundation for medical marijuana use in Arkansas, ongoing legislative developments and legal interpretations continue to shape its impact, making it crucial for medical cannabis users to stay informed and seek legal advice when necessary.

The Complications of Gun Ownership for Medical Marijuana Cardholders

The intersection of gun ownership and medical marijuana cardholder status is a complex and legally intricate issue, particularly due to the conflicting stances between state and federal laws. On the federal level, cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This classification creates a legal dilemma for medical marijuana cardholders when it comes to firearm ownership. Federal law clearly prohibits individuals who use controlled substances, including cannabis, from buying, obtaining, possessing, or controlling a firearm​.

In 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a federal institution, further clarified this stance. An open letter from the ATF explicitly informed all authorized firearms dealers that anyone who possesses a valid medical cannabis card is deemed ineligible to acquire a handgun from a gun store​.

The courts have supported these regulations; for instance, the 9th Circuit Court expressed the view that marijuana users, being illegal drug users, are statistically more likely to be involved in violent crimes, hence preventing known registry cardholders from acquiring firearms aligns with the government’s objective to reduce gun violence​.

Individuals with medical marijuana cards are thus caught in a legal bind. If a person with a medical card attempts to purchase a firearm and does not disclose their medical marijuana use, they risk legal consequences including fines or imprisonment if discovered, as per federal regulations outlined in 18 U.S.C § 924​.

However, it's important to note that these federal regulations stand as the law of the land, even though some state laws may present a challenge to this prohibition. The federal government's classification of marijuana as illegal supersedes state laws that may allow medical marijuana use​.

It is a precarious situation, and those navigating it should be aware of the potential legal implications. It underscores a broader issue in policy where federal and state laws are at odds, creating not just confusion but also significant legal risk for individuals trying to adhere to their state's medical marijuana program while exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Key Takeaway: Gun ownership for medical marijuana cardholders presents a significant legal conflict between state-permitted cannabis use and federal firearm regulations, with the latter strictly forbidding gun possession by users of controlled substances, including state-legalized medical cannabis.

For more detailed information about the legal aspects of medical marijuana cardholders and gun ownership, the Cannabis Community provides a comprehensive guide that delves into these issues. Moreover, understanding your status and rights can be crucial, so it might be worth exploring the pre-qualification survey offered by ARCannabisClinic to gauge your eligibility for a medical marijuana card with full awareness of its implications on gun ownership.

Tweetable insight: "Medical marijuana cardholders face a catch-22 between state rights and federal laws when it comes to gun ownership. Know the risks before you act. #MedicalMarijuana #GunOwnership #FederalLaw #SecondAmendment" Tweet This

Navigating the Legal Implications of Concealed Handgun Carry for Medical Marijuana Users

The complications surrounding gun ownership for medical marijuana cardholders are rooted in the clash between state and federal laws. Federal law classifies cannabis as a controlled substance, and thus, prohibits anyone who uses it, including those with medical cannabis cards, from purchasing or possessing firearms. This restriction applies at the point of purchasing a gun and extends to owning or possessing a firearm altogether​.

In Arkansas, the situation is particularly pressing due to the high rate of gun ownership. With nearly 80,000 registered guns, Arkansas ranks as the second-largest state in the nation for gun owners. This intersects with the growing number of medical marijuana patients, which was over 50,000 at last count, leading to a complicated legal landscape​.

Recent legislative changes, such as Arkansas House Bill 1784, aim to address this issue. This bill, referred to as “An Act to Amend the Law Concerning Concealed Handguns to Protect the Rights of Medical Marijuana Patients and Caregivers to Obtain a License,” signifies a move towards reconciling state gun laws with the rights of medical marijuana users​.

Notably, despite the federal stance, a new Arkansas law has been put into effect to protect gun rights for medical marijuana cardholders, stipulating that the Arkansas State Police cannot deny a concealed carry license based on an individual's use of medical marijuana under state law​.

This state-level effort to safeguard the rights of medical marijuana users follows broader legal challenges across the country. For instance, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that a federal law prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms is unconstitutional. This decision may have implications for similar laws nationwide​.

However, it's vital for medical marijuana users in Arkansas to be aware that, on a federal level, the prohibition remains in place. Despite state laws aiming to protect the rights of medical marijuana cardholders, such as Amendment 98, which legalized medical cannabis in Arkansas, federal law still prohibits gun owners registered as MMJ patients from purchasing or owning a gun​.

Key Takeaway: Arkansas is making strides to align state laws with the rights of medical marijuana users regarding gun ownership, but federal law continues to impose restrictions, creating a complex legal environment for cardholders.

To gain more insight into medical marijuana qualifications, you may find it useful to review the qualifying conditions for a marijuana card which could provide further context on who might be affected by these legal challenges.

Now, for a message that encapsulates this complex issue for social sharing, here's a tweet you can share:

"Arkansas forges ahead with laws to uphold #MedicalMarijuana patient rights to #GunOwnership, challenging federal restrictions. A balance between health and #SecondAmendment rights is crucial. #MMJ #GunRights #LegalizeIt #Arkansas"

Qualifying Conditions and Legal Concerns for Arkansas Medical Marijuana Patients Wishing to Own Firearms

In Arkansas, the interplay between medical marijuana use and gun ownership is a topic that has seen significant legislative development, particularly with the introduction of Act 757. This act is a move by the state to solidify the rights of medical marijuana cardholders in carrying concealed handguns, representing Arkansas's commitment to supporting medical marijuana patients' rights. However, the contrast between state and federal perspectives remains a complex issue. On the state level, Act 757 permits medical marijuana users to obtain concealed carry licenses in Arkansas, yet the federal Gun Control Act and the Controlled Substances Act maintain classifications and provisions that could conflict with state law​1​.

When it comes to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, the process is structured to ensure that only those with legitimate medical needs gain access to medical cannabis treatments. Applicants must meet specific criteria outlined by the Arkansas Department of Health, which include proof of residency, age requirements, and medical conditions that fall under the state's list of qualifying conditions. Some of these conditions are severe arthritis, PTSD, Crohn's disease, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain. Upon eligibility confirmation, a written certification from a licensed physician is necessary, followed by the submission of documentation and an application fee to the Arkansas Department of Health. This rigorous process underlines the state's efforts to maintain the integrity and therapeutic focus of its medical marijuana program​1​.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, also known as Issue 6, was approved by voters and has had implications for medical cannabis users, including their ability to own firearms. Under this amendment, registered qualifying patients and designated caregivers are permitted to engage in the medical use of marijuana, with the state required to issue registry identification cards. This amendment, however, does not permit individuals to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of a motorized vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, or other vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. It also doesn't allow the use of marijuana on a school bus, on the grounds of a preschool or primary or secondary school, in a correctional facility, or in public​.

Act 757, passed during the legislative session, allows medical marijuana users to obtain concealed carry licenses in Arkansas. However, it's essential to be cautious as federal laws like the Gun Control Act could classify medical marijuana users as "unlawful users of a controlled substance," which could complicate the purchase of firearms from federally licensed dealers​1​.

Here's a tweetable summary highlighting the interplay of medical marijuana use and gun ownership rights in Arkansas:

"Arkansas moves to uphold medical marijuana patients' rights with Act 757, yet the federal stance adds complexity to gun ownership. Stay informed on your rights. #MedicalMarijuana #GunOwnership #ArkansasLaw #Act757"

For individuals looking to understand more about the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana for specific conditions, resources such as those explaining how marijuana helps with chronic pain are invaluable.

Key Takeaway: While Arkansas has made strides in supporting the rights of medical marijuana cardholders, especially in relation to concealed carry licenses, it's crucial to remain aware of the overarching federal laws that may pose challenges. It's advised for residents to thoroughly understand their rights and the potential legal implications that come with the intersection of medical marijuana use and gun ownership.


Does federal law prohibit medical marijuana patients from gun ownership? Yes, federal law classifies medical marijuana users as unlawful users of a controlled substance, which under the Gun Control Act, can prevent them from passing a background check required for gun ownership.

Are medical marijuana cardholders in Arkansas restricted from obtaining a hunting license? No, Arkansas state law does not specifically restrict medical marijuana cardholders from obtaining a hunting license, but federal regulations regarding the possession of firearms may apply.

Can medical marijuana users in the state of Arkansas own guns? Technically no, despite state laws that may permit medical marijuana use, federal law still presents a conflict for gun ownership for users of a controlled substance, including medical cannabis patients.

Do medical conditions qualify as a reason for medical marijuana patients to use firearms for hunting? Medical conditions alone do not qualify or disqualify a person from using firearms for hunting; however, federal law may complicate this for medical marijuana patients due to their user status.

Will law enforcement in Little Rock check medical records during a gun purchase for medical marijuana use? It's possible, as law enforcement and federally licensed dealers are required to ensure that gun purchasers are not unlawful users of controlled substances, which could include checking against medical marijuana cardholder databases.

Does having a medical card for marijuana affect one's second amendment rights? Yes, at the federal level, having a medical marijuana card can affect one's Second Amendment rights due to the classification of marijuana as a controlled substance.

Are medical marijuana users considered unlawful users if they have a concealed carry license? Yes, at the federal level, medical marijuana users are still considered unlawful users of a controlled substance, which can conflict with the possession of a concealed carry license.

If a medical marijuana cardholder's background check reveals their patient status, will they be denied a firearms transaction? Yes, under federal regulations, if a background check reveals that someone is a medical marijuana cardholder, they can be denied the firearms transaction.

Can medical marijuana users legally obtain carry licenses in states with medical marijuana laws? State laws may allow it, but federal law can override state law, leading to potential legal trouble for medical marijuana users attempting to obtain carry licenses.

Are Arkansas Department of Health medical marijuana certifications considered during a gun purchase? Yes, such certifications can be considered during a gun purchase, as federal law requires gun dealers to ensure purchasers are not unlawful users of controlled substances.

Is it a separate crime for medical marijuana card holders to possess guns under federal law? Yes, it can be considered a separate crime under federal law for a person who uses or is addicted to marijuana to possess firearms.

Do gun dealers have the right to refuse sale to medical marijuana patients based on their status? Yes, gun dealers are obligated under federal law to refuse the sale of firearms to individuals they have reasonable cause to believe are unlawful users of a controlled substance.

Can medical marijuana patients in legal medical cannabis states be exempt from federal gun laws? No, federal laws apply nationwide regardless of individual state laws on the legalization of medical marijuana.

Will federal courts uphold the gun rights of medical marijuana users if challenged? So far, federal courts have generally upheld the federal government's right to restrict gun ownership among users of controlled substances, including medical marijuana.

Does the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act provide protections for gun ownership for patients? No, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act does not provide protections against federal laws that restrict gun ownership for individuals using controlled substances.

Can a licensed Arkansas physician advise a patient on gun ownership implications when certifying for medical marijuana use? A licensed physician may provide medical advice on health conditions but may not be qualified to offer legal advice on gun ownership implications.

Is it possible for medical marijuana users to pass a background check for gun ownership? It is unlikely, as federal law requires background checks to screen for controlled substance use, and medical marijuana falls under that category.

Are there exceptions for medical marijuana users who need guns for their safety-sensitive positions? No, federal law does not typically allow exceptions for safety-sensitive positions when it comes to the unlawful use of controlled substances.

Can nurse practitioners in Arkansas issue physician certifications for medical marijuana that could affect gun ownership? Yes, nurse practitioners in Arkansas can issue certifications that could affect gun ownership due to federal regulations regarding controlled substances.

If a medical marijuana patient's gun rights are revoked, can the entire process be appealed? The appeal process may be possible within state systems, but at the federal level, the revocation due to controlled substance use is typically upheld.

Does the federal government recognize medical marijuana patients as lawful gun owners? No, the federal government does not recognize medical marijuana patients as lawful gun owners due to marijuana's classification as a controlled substance.

Are Arkansas medical card holders automatically disqualified from federal background checks for gun ownership? Yes, under federal law, the use of marijuana disqualifies individuals from passing a federal background check for gun ownership, affecting medical card holders in Arkansas.

Can medical marijuana users be federally prosecuted for possessing firearms? Yes, medical marijuana users can be federally prosecuted for possessing firearms as it is illegal under federal law for users of controlled substances to possess guns.

Do medical cannabis patients face legal risks when applying for a concealed carry license? Yes, medical cannabis patients face legal risks when applying for a concealed carry license due to the conflict between state and federal regulations.

Does the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) consider medical marijuana use when evaluating gun purchases? Yes, the ATF considers medical marijuana use a disqualifying factor under federal law for gun purchases.

Will the Arkansas Department of Health notify law enforcement about medical marijuana patient status during gun background checks? There is no standard procedure for this, but federal law enforcement may have access to such information during background checks.

Can medical marijuana cardholders in Little Rock legally purchase firearms from private sellers? While state law might not prohibit it, federal law still applies, which can complicate the legality of such transactions for medical marijuana users.

Is a medical marijuana certification from the state of Arkansas valid defense against federal gun charges? No, a medical marijuana certification from Arkansas does not provide defense against federal gun charges.

What are the implications of the Gun Control Act on medical marijuana patients wishing to own guns? The Gun Control Act implies that medical marijuana patients, as users of a controlled substance, are prohibited from owning guns under federal law.

Are cannabis consumers in legal trouble if found with guns in Arkansas? Under federal law, cannabis consumers can be in legal trouble if found in possession of firearms due to the controlled substance status of marijuana.

Do state laws protect medical marijuana patients' gun rights against federal regulations? State laws do not protect medical marijuana patients' gun rights against federal regulations, as federal law supersedes state law in matters of gun control.

Could a medical marijuana user pass a drug test required by gun dealers for firearm purchase? If the drug test screens for THC, medical marijuana users would likely not pass, which could impact their firearm purchase from gun dealers.

Are MMJ patients considered in good standing with federal gun laws? No, MMJ patients are not considered in good standing with federal gun laws because of the federal classification of marijuana as a controlled substance.

Does the legalization of medical marijuana affect federal background checks for gun buyers? The legalization of medical marijuana at the state level does not affect the criteria of federal background checks, which still consider marijuana a controlled substance.

What should medical marijuana card holders know about the federal regulations on gun ownership? They should know that federal regulations can prohibit gun ownership for individuals who use controlled substances, including state-legal medical marijuana.

Can Arkansas residents with a medical marijuana ID card legally purchase firearms from a federally licensed dealer? No, under federal regulations, individuals who use controlled substances, such as medical marijuana, are prohibited from purchasing firearms from federally licensed dealers.

How do medical conditions affect the rights of MMJ patients to purchase firearms in Arkansas? While medical conditions qualify individuals for MMJ patient status, they do not influence the federal prohibition on firearm purchases for users of controlled substances.

Are medical marijuana ID cards considered by federal courts when determining the legality of gun ownership? Federal courts consider medical marijuana ID cards as evidence of controlled substance use, which can negatively impact the legality of gun ownership.

Does the federal government provide a way for medical marijuana users to appeal gun ownership denials? There is no established federal process for medical marijuana users to appeal gun ownership denials based on their marijuana use.

Will a concealed handgun license protect medical marijuana users from federal prosecution for gun possession? No, possessing a concealed handgun license does not protect medical marijuana users from federal prosecution for gun possession.


In the conclusion, attention is drawn to ARCannabisClinic, a national network of marijuana doctors dedicated to helping patients obtain a medical marijuana card in their state. They lead with an industry-first MMJ Therapy Visit, ensuring patients receive a comprehensive medical marijuana treatment plan, including strain selection and dosing instructions. ARCannabisClinic is at the forefront of full diagnosis evaluations, including PTSD, anxiety, and uncovering other potential qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

For more information on how ARCannabisClinic can assist you in navigating the path to medical marijuana certification, visit ARCannabisClinic. Learn more about their personalized MMJ Therapy Visits at ARCannabisClinic MMJ Therapy, and discover how they can help you achieve better health and quality of life through the legal use of medical cannabis.

doctor talking to a patient about medical marijuana as an option for treatment


Experience the convenience of ARCannabisClinic's online doctor visits, offering professional, compassionate, and comprehensive marijuana-based medical advice, all at your fingertips.

medical marijuana patient happy and smiling talking to a marijuana doctor
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