Fifth Circuit Holds That Use or Possession of an Intoxicant Does Not Remove Your Rights

Marijuana legalization and its removal from Title I controlled substances is continuing to creep forward as politicos and industries with something to lose in the fight figure out how to lose the least. The propaganda campaign of fear, lies, and slander, all targeted to prey on demographic prejudices and give both more power to government and protect the paper paper of all groups is crumbling. Even the momentum of habit where the drug has been illegal so long it was just assumed to be the correct idea is failing, because it never ever left circulation. Like Prohibition, it was a bad idea to begin with.

Now another federal court decision pushes the pieces one step closer to a checkmate on treating marijuana like the rather mundane intoxicant that it is with the don’t drive or operate heavy machinery disclaimers. Its possession or use does not invalidate your constitutional rights.

From The FPC,

NEW ORLEANS, LA (August 10, 2023) – Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) made the following statement regarding yesterday’s Opinion in the Fifth Circuit case United States v. Daniels:

In 2022, Patrick Daniels was convicted in federal court for possessing a firearm while being an “unlawful user” of marijuana, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). Because of that conviction, he was forever banned from possessing firearms, a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment. Yesterday, a Fifth Circuit panel held that ban unconstitutional as applied to Mr. Daniels.

“In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage,” wrote Judge Jerry E. Smith in the court’s opinion. “Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users. As applied to Daniels, then, § 922(g)(3) violates the Second Amendment. We reverse the judgment of conviction and render a dismissal of the indictment.”

FPC and FPCAF filed an amicus brief in this case, urging the result that the court reached. The court cited the amicus brief in its opinion, as well as two law review articles by FPCAF’s Director of Constitutional Studies, Joseph Greenlee. The articles are The Historical Justification for Prohibiting Dangerous Persons from Possessing Arms (Wyoming Law Review, 2020) and Disarming the Dangerous: The American Tradition of Firearm Prohibitions (Drexel Law Review, forthcoming 2023).

“We are pleased by the court’s decision,” said Greenlee, who authored the amicus brief. “As we explained in our brief, there is no tradition of disarming Americans based solely on their use of an intoxicant, and the government failed to prove that marijuana users are especially dangerous. Therefore, as the court held, § 922(g)(3) is inconsistent with America’s tradition of firearm regulation and thus unconstitutional.”

FPC and FPCAF will continue to seek the restoration of natural, fundamental, and enumerated rights for all the People through its leading scholarly and litigation work.

Individuals who would like to join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs like these can sign up at Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit and follow FPC on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.