Texas Man Sentenced to Probation for Possessing Guns as Cannabis Consumer

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An Austin, Texas man has been sentenced to five years of probation – after spending eight months in jail – after pleading guilty to obscure federal charges related to users of a controlled substance (in this case cannabis) owning firearms, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Initially, prosecutors alleged that Steven Boehle, 50, had planned to use his 13 guns to attack city police officers; however, when those charges fell through he was charged under the federal statute.

U.S. Judge Mark Lane said that Boehle’s threats were “marijuana-induced gibberish.” Boehle had never been arrested for drugs.

Boehle’s probation conditions require that he turn over his guns and submit to drug testing. According to his sister, Boehle suffers from epilepsy and, starting next year, Texas will permit those with the condition to access some medical cannabis products. Boehle reportedly had two seizures while in police custody.

Daphne Silverman, Boehle’s attorney, indicated she would try to modify her client’s probation terms to allow him to access the program; however, she conceded that would be “an uphill battle.”

This isn’t the first case of a state citing cannabis use as a reason to take firearms from citizens. Earlier this month, the Honolulu, Hawaii Police Department backed off requests that 30 gun owners registered in the state medical cannabis program either surrender or transfer ownership of their firearms, according to a Honolulu Star Advertiser report. The department did indicate they would continue to deny firearm permits to applicants with medical cannabis cards.

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