Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

There are good reasons to deny a person the privilege of buying a gun.

That a person has a card allowing him to legally use marijuana is a bad reason.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently reiterated its contention that gun dealers in any of the 16 states, including Oregon, that have medical marijuana laws can't legally sell firearms or ammunition to people who have a medical marijuana card.

Yet the feds offer no substantive reason why legal marijuana users should be treated like convicted murderers, armed robbers or other felons who, rightfully so, are banned from buying guns.

The government's stance seems to be based on federal law, which, notwithstanding state medical marijuana laws, deems the drug a controlled substance.

Gun dealers have said in media interviews that they're not overly worried about the ATF position, in part because they have to deny only prospective buyers who they have "reasonable cause to believe" is a pot user.

But we see no reason to put gun sellers in a pseudo-detective role based on a phantom link between marijuana use and criminal use of a gun.