What is the best firearm for Marijuana Garden Defense?

gore February 22, 2012 13
What is the best firearm for Marijuana Garden Defense?

I grew up with a love of shooting firearms. I owned several. I maintained a membership at a local range. I even earned a concealed carry permit. I have fired tens of thousands of rounds at targets, with both rifles and pistols.  Steel repeating targets where my favorite; they make a satisfying sound when I hit them.  I also owned a 12-gauge Remington shotgun which I used to shoot skeet.  Skeet shooting can be a lot of fun–both the shooting and the throwing.

In order to receive a concealed weapon permit or CCW, I attended a mandatory weekend class.  I had to pay a moderate fee and bring my own pistol and ammunition.  I expected the course to outline basic firearm safety, and possibly educate a little on California state firearm laws.  The content of the course was not at all what I expected.  The County District Attorney taught the course together with a former enlisted man who also trained the local S.W.A.T. and other law enforcement.  The curriculum included “situational awareness”— in other words, a battle-ready presence of mind.  On the range, we fired at human silhouette targets.  Our instructor told us we should shoot to “stop” the target, and demonstrated where to aim for the vital organs. He also instructed us to fire at the target’s heads.  The D.A. concluded the course with a lecture on the legal definition of justifiable homicide.

The instructors created hypothetical scenarios from everyday life.  In one scenario, we were hostages taken in a bank robbery;  in another, we were customers witnessing an armed robbery at a convenience store.  Both scenarios ended with shooting and killing the armed assailants, and thus becoming a hero.

I ended up selling all of my firearms, due in large part to my disturbing weekend with the district attorney.  I have no desire to shoot anyone. The CCW course convinced me that, for as long as I carried a firearm, there was at least a very small chance I may have to make a really tough decision with no time to think it through.  There is a strange part of the typical American male who—educated by Hollywood—likes to imagine himself a hero.  It is possible that I may become a hero someday. I would not want this to come from shooting someone.

Throughout my love affair with firearms, I was taking considerable legal risks.  I was in possession of large amounts of cannabis and guns at the same time. These two items were not part of an image. I did not imagine my self another “Scarface.”  I was not in the practice of flaunting my marijuana or my firearms. My ownership of guns was not an attempt to identify myself with any sort of social class.  My firearms were always kept under lock and key, and were certainly not kept loaded.   Furthermore, the cannabis I grew, processed, stored and consumed was legitimized by my doctor’s written recommendation.  At the time, I honestly believed I was in compliance with state marijuana guidelines and federal firearm laws.

I could not have been more mistaken.

  • Federal law supersedes state and county laws in matters concerning medicinal marijuana.
  • Federal law continues to classify marijuana as a schedule 1 drug and at present refuses to consider marijuana a medicinal herb. This category also includes Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and GHB.
  • Federal law states that it is illegal for any person to posses a firearm if he or she is “an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana or other controlled substances”.  To clarify, this statement made by the DEA on Sept 21 2011 states that medicinal marijuana users may not purchase or own firearms.
  • Possession of a firearm while committing a felony mandates a “sentencing enhancement” in both Federal and State court.  These “enhancements” assure stiffer sentencing in the event that judge or jury decide that a crime has been committed.  It is not uncommon for state sentencing enhancements to mandate prison time and “strikes” in place of county jail and fines. Federal sentencing enhancements for firearms typically add an additional 5 years prison sentence.
  • In California, marijuana guidelines differ greatly from county to county, and are often local interpretations of vague state laws. These interpretation also vary between law enforcement personnel, the district attorney’s office, and the judges.

I understand and approve of most gun laws, even in California where they are particularly strict. These laws have been designed to prevent drug dealers from committing violent crimes.  In my case there was no malice or criminal intent. I am just a gun enthusiast who treats his medical condition with marijuana.  The lesson I want to be taken away from this story is that marijuana and firearms do not mix–at least not in court.  When you take up marijuana to treat your condition, you effectively surrender your 2nd amendment right to bear arms. I don’t believe this is right, but it is what it is. If you fail to heed this warning, you may well regret it for a very long time.

In short, the best firearm for marijuana garden defense is no firearm at all.

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  1. 45YrToker March 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm -

    Wow, what a trip. When I saw the title of this article and saw the photo that accompanied it, I was thinking that I’ll only be in this group temporarily until I learn some things. But, when I read the article I gained a profound respect for you. I’m so glad that your experience with getting licensed caused you to have an epiphany.

    I had one myself, but it was long after I’d already committed to non-violence. I organized a anti war group on Norton Air Force Base during Viet Nam. We held parades & rallies, and I made speeches denouncing all violence. Like you, I grew up on the farm killing anything I could get in my sites, but once Viet Nam opened my eyes, I’ve been against guns and violence since then. But something happened to me that, for a while, made me forget all of that.

    You see, I got robbed in a home invasion. My room mate was pulled thru a window and had a knife stuck 1/4″ into this throat. When I came out from my bedroom with a single shot .22 to see what the commotion was, a guy was standing in my living room., The window was opened, as was the front door. I put the gun on him and told him we were going outside to see who he was. At that time, I heard someone from the front porch say, “Drop it, or you friend’s dead!”

    I leaned to my left to look out the door and saw Tim with the knife in his throat. I turned back to the guy, but before I could make any decision, he got his hand under the barrel of the gun, and it went off into the ceiling.

    We got robbed, but not further injured, We were lucky. This made me mad, and I forgot all my convictions and went out and bought a .357 revolver. I wore it on my hip around the house for quite some time, but eventually relaxed and put it away. But I kept it handy.

    One day my brother-in-law wanted to borrow it for target shooting. When he gave it back, it was at his house, so I stuck it under the front seat and left it there.
    About a month later I was going somewhere, and I was late. I came up along side another car at a light to enter the freeway. It was an old ford Falcon pickup.

    When I took off, I was under full throttle, but I was driving a Pontiac Astra-think Chevy Vega-and the old Ford had a big V8, apparently. I guess he thought I was racing him, and he pulled ahead. But, after he did, he put the brakes on, causing me to lightly tap his bumper. He stopped in the middle of the on ramp and came walking back to my car.

    I had flipped him off when he stood on the brakes. He said, “You don’t put your finger up at me”, in a thick Aussie accent. I asked him why he slammed on his brakes in front of me like that, and he replied that he would drive any way he wanted to. I replied that, in that case, I would put my finger up anytime I wanted to.

    At that point he reached down and bent the side view mirror on my car over sideways. His arms were bigger than my thighs, and now he had me scared. I’d had the gun out, but out of site, the whole time. At that point I pulled it, cocked it and put it in his gut.

    I was lucky that day, as he stepped back and made some comment about how us punks always had to hide behind a gun. He got in his car and took off. I wanted to shoot out his tires, but didn’t dare, as I k the penalty.

    If he’d reached for the gun that day, instead of backing off, I’d still be in jail for murder! If I hadn’t had the gun, I’d have used my extreme driving skills, garnered in 12 years of road racing Formula Atlantics,, to drive my way out of trouble.

    After that incident, I got rid of the gun. They just aren’t worth it, and no human life is worth less than property, I don’t care how despicable that life is. I do keep a 20 gag for squirrels, and I suppose that if someone were trying to shoot me that I’d defend myself, but that’s the extent of it.

    So, it’s real nice to know that I’ve found a group of growers who are peaceful folks, and also seem to have an education. It’s nice to discuss things with well read and educated folks for a change. Thanks for having me no board.


  2. Rambo March 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm -

    I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendments explicitly stated right to bare arms. I’ve owned guns all my life and always will. I won’t think twice about killing someone who threatens the lives of my friends and family. I could live with myself. That being said, I agree with Gore that guns have no place in or around a garden. Cannabis can always be grown again next year, its not worth taking a life over or loosing yours.

    I feel the need to add a few points that gore didn’t touch on

    1. When cops bust a grower they are generally regarded as a the bad guys in a lot of people eyes. When they bust a grower with a bunch of guns, suddenly the cops are the good guys and the growers are the bad guys. This legitimizes raids on growers and helps increase task force funding.

    2. Growers getting busted usually doesn’t make the news, at least not in California. Growers getting busted with guns is headline news. Suddenly the hippie pot grower is now a criminal kingpin. This means they have to make an example of you or they come off looking weak on crime. Cops don’t like other people having guns and neither does the DA. They are going to try a lot harder to put you away if guns are involved.

    3. The DA may bargain with you to drop gun charges,if you plead guilty to the cultivation or sales felonies. Now your a felon, where with no guns the charges may have been reduced to misdemeanors.

    I’m not at attorney, but I’ve been around this my whole life and have seen a lot of people go through this. Keep the guns locked away and off of the property you are growing on.

  3. the american bud March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm -

    I wonder what it would mean to have several guns and be a personal designated grower. Designated by a medical patient and being a medical patient is two different things in my mind. I also am a second amendment supporter. A government that fears its people is a government that will not readily resort to tyrrany. I also know several police officers and have yet to meet one who would not support your right to bear arms. Maybe that is because I don’t live in a huge city full of thugs.
    My advice on guns is simple. Never give up your right to own oneand if you have to in order to get your medicine then hide a few guns away from where you grow. Also the only reason to worry about getting robbed for your meds is if you are advertising your use. If someone invades your house looking for your dope you need to run a way tighter oporation.

    • budmanmac May 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm -

      Much agreed, american bud. I choose your stance on this subject.

  4. LIN April 10, 2012 at 8:31 am -

    “. I won’t think twice about killing someone who threatens the lives of my friends and family. I could live with myself. That being said, I agree with Gore that guns have no place in or around a garden. Cannabis can always be grown again next year, ‘

    Excellent point. That being stated we sometime have to protect ourselves and family so having a hunting rifle helps. No assault type AK-47 or AR-15 they give a bad impression especially if they show up on a news report of a bust.

  5. Earthschild November 4, 2012 at 6:12 am -

    Excellent article. I too give up my guns for the passion of growing.

  6. asd November 7, 2012 at 1:30 am -

    ak47 best weapon 🙂

    • Rambo November 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm -

      Mr. Mikhail Kalashnikov designed a very fine firearm, however, you may have missed the point of the article.

  7. Woodstuck December 18, 2012 at 10:53 am -

    Excellent article and writing. Congratulations.

    Visit weedsthatplease.com for your growing needs.

  8. Phlem Mucous June 21, 2013 at 8:24 am -

    Some good insightful things to ponder in the article but the fact is that Federal Law ISN”T SUPPOSED TO supercede state law.

    But the 10th Ammendment is being shredded along with all the others in this rapidly growing police state globalist sponsored world.

    But the fact is that our government has gone way past corrupt and smack dab into criminal and tyranical. Somewhere in the Seattle area a man found two armed burglars in his garage grow op.

    The article did not mention whether the armed burglers did or did not threaten (besides being there armed) the home owner but the Fed prosecuter made a big deal about the grower having his guns in the first place (assuming) (to fool the ignorant old ladies on the jury) to protect his criminal enterprise.

    The homeowner shot and killed the two armed burglars but if he had the drop on them and fired prematurely he very well could have not been in the right but two armed guys anywhere in my house would likely end in the same way if I were able to time it right.

    This is of course all BS but who has the power and more of their own guns? Why, of course, the govt.

    If I had to make a choice between ever having guns again or having MJ I would opt for the guns but that’s only because a few enlightened percentage of us folks know full well that the economy is going to collapse and simultaneously they want to take all our guns in advance or along with that episode in the great deindustrialization of this used up like a crack whore country of ours where most people are still having re-runs of John Wayne movies in their heads convinving themselves that we are, in fact, Number 1.

    Most folk are brainwashed fools and are living under a rose colored dome where only butterflies flutter inside and the air is mixed with high amounts of normalcy bias.

  9. Bob October 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm -

    What are you thinking!!

  10. Lenny March 20, 2014 at 11:54 am -

    Lots of us can’t even have a firearm.
    Also you can not legally have a gun and grow medical cannabis in most Counties. It’s bullshit but that’s the law. I was in prison for cultivation and now I can not
    own a gun to protect my family. I personally think guns are not a part of the core of our marijuana culture. At least not the people I know.

  11. Jackel August 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm -

    I don’t think a lot of people are actually reading the article.