Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s lawsuit targets a federal requirement that prohibits medical marijuana users from purchasing firearms
Florida’s lone statewide elected Democrat, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, plans to sue the Biden administration Wednesday to try to block a federal rule that prohibits medical marijuana users from buying guns or maintaining concealed-carry permits.
The lawsuit targets a federal form that asks whether the gun buyer is an unlawful user of drugs and specifies that marijuana is illegal under federal law. A person allowed by the state to use marijuana must then check “yes,” which results in denial of the purchase. Lying by checking “no” runs the risk of a five-year prison sentence for making a false statement.
Fried, whose office oversees concealed weapons permits and regulates some aspects of medical marijuana, argues in her lawsuit that the form violates the Second Amendment rights of lawful medical marijuana patients and runs afoul of a congressional budget prohibition on federal agents’ interfering with state-sanctioned cannabis laws.
The suit has ramifications beyond Florida: At least 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, and recreational use is legal in 18 states as well as Guam and Washington DC. Support for medical marijuana and cannabis legalization cuts across party lines, as does opposition to the conflicting regulations in state and federal law. Gun rights are also generally popular in Florida.
The lawsuit is timed to land on April 20 — a nod to the slang reference of “420” for marijuana.