In a stunning reversal of prior policy, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has summarily revoked medical marijuana patients’ qualification for concealed carry permits in Clark County. The move comes as slap in the face to medical marijuana patients who had hoped for a better relationship with law enforcement as the stigma surrounding marijuana use continues to erode around the country.

Prior to the abrupt shift in policy, Clark County’s concealed carry permit application did not ask whether an applicant was a medical marijuana patient. However, recent changes to the application plainly state that medical marijuana patients do not qualify due to the federal prohibition on marijuana.

Consequently, it appears that Metro will not allow any medical marijuana patients to apply for a concealed carry permit within Clark County. It is unclear how Metro would determine whether or not an applicant is a medical marijuana patient as the list of patients is confidential.

The only reason Metro or any other law enforcement agency is permitted to access the list is to determine whether or not an individual is allowed to possess marijuana for medical purposes. Thus, if Metro is cross-referencing the list of patients with the names of concealed carry applicants, they are doing so in clear violation of Nevada law. As such, I expect this matter to end up before the Nevada court system.

Nevertheless, applications from other Nevada counties do not ask whether the applicant is a patient, therefore it may be possible for patients to apply in counties outside of Clark. If you have questions regarding your rights as a medical marijuana patient, you should contact a Nevada attorney who is familiar with Nevada’s complex marijuana laws.