Can you have a Medical Cannabis Card and a FOID card at the same time? Can you have a Medical Cannabis Card and a Conceal and Carry Permit at the same time? You would think that these questions are easy to answer. However, these questions have caused great confusion and misunderstanding in Illinois. The State Legislature has done a terrible job of clearing up the law and making this an easy issue to solve. Instead, you have to search for answers to these questions for yourself. If you ask an employee at a gun shop if you can have both, you will get a different answer depending on the day of the week. Let me try to explain the situation and what I believe the law is. Stay tuned for a way around it. Something you will not find anywhere else!
Illinois has decriminalized the possession and use of small amounts of Cannabis. Illinois instituted a Medical Marijuana program several years ago. However, the possession and use of Marijuana remains a crime under federal law. In our system, federal law supersedes state law. In spite of that, the cannabis industry has thrived in Illinois. Legal dispensaries have sprung up throughout the cities and suburbs of Illinois and municipalities and taxing authorities are reaping the resulting tax revenues. The legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Illinois, and the introduction of Medical Cannabis in Illinois, has created a conflict for legal gun owners in Illinois.
In order to possess a firearm in Illinois, you must have a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). To obtain a FOID, you must apply to the Illinois State Police, and pass a thorough background search. Under Federal Law, it is unlawful for Marijuana users to own firearms. 430 ILCS 65/8 sets forth the grounds for the Illinois State Police to deny a FOID application. Section (n) of the statute states that “a person is prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms or firearm ammunition by any Illinois State Statute or by federal law.” In response, the Illinois State Police has stated that they will not revoke anyone’s FOID card solely because they are using marijuana. However, the Illinois State Police stated that “the ISP (Illinois State Police) will revoke FOID cards where it is demonstrated that an individual is addicted to or a habitual user of Marijuana.”