Police to pot card holders: You can hold on to your gun (for now)

Published: Nov. 30, 2017 at 12:51 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 at 4:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you've got a medical marijuana card and a firearm, you don't have to surrender your gun — for now.

The Honolulu Police Department said they're consulting with other government agencies on a policy that requires some medical marijuana card holders to turn in their firearms and ammunition within 30 days after being instructed to do so by the agency.

The review comes in the wake of criticism over the policy.

Letters to card holders went out Nov. 13, as they have in previous months.

But this time, the letters caught the attention of local and national marijuana advocates.

And they went out without the express approval of new HPD Chief Susan Ballard.

In a statement Tuesday, Ballard said while the policy is being reviewed, the department won't require firearm applicants with medical marijuana permits to surrender their guns.

The department will continue to deny firearm permits to applicants who have current medical marijuana permits.

"This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that's legally sound and serves our community," Ballard said, in a statement. "Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right."

Law enforcement experts say that just because someone has a medical marijuana card doesn't mean they have the actual drug.

But anyone caught with prescription pot can be ordered to surrender weapons.

Federal law does not recognize medical marijuana as legal.

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