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Texas Judge Says Pot User Has Constitutional Right To Guns

Law360 (April 10, 2023, 8:19 PM EDT) --

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A Texas federal judge ruled that an El Paso woman's cannabis habit did not mean she could

not own or sell guns, throwing out a two-count criminal indictment that violated her Second

Amendment rights.

Federal prosecutors could not show through historical gun regulations why Paola Connelly

should be prevented from having or transferring a firearm after telling local police she used

cannabis, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled Thursday. U.S. laws that prevent

"unlawful" drug users or addicts from gun ownership and sales were unconstitutional, the

judge added.

Even if history broadly supports disarming dangerous individuals, Connelly is not one of them,

the judge said. The government never alleged Connelly committed violent or threatening acts,

only that she consumed cannabis, a drug legalized for recreation in more than 20 states and

used by millions of Americans, Judge Cardone added.

"It strains credulity to believe that taking part in such a widespread practice can render an

individual so dangerous or untrustworthy that they must be stripped of their Second

Amendment rights," the judge said.


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