- Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is filing an appeal on her lawsuit against the Biden administration regarding medical marijuana restrictions
- The original legal challenge sought to overturn a federal rule that prevents medical marijuana users from being able to purchase a gun or maintain a concealed carry permit
- U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor struck down the motion earlier this month, reasoning that marijuana use, even medicinally, remains prohibited under federal law
- A Constitutional amendment in Florida from 2016 gave way to the legalization of medical marijuana within the state.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried has filed an appeal after a federal judge dismissed her lawsuit against the Biden administration. The original legal challenge sought to overturn a federal rule that prevents medical marijuana users from being able to purchase a gun or maintain a concealed carry permit.
The lawsuit attempted to abolish a question on a federal gun purchase form that asks if the buyer is a user of drugs, specifying that marijuana is still considered illegal at the federal level.
When a medical marijuana user, the use of which is permitted in 37 states including Florida, answers the question affirmatively, they are met with a denial of purchase.
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor struck down the motion earlier this month, reasoning that marijuana use, even medicinally, remains prohibited under federal law. Winsor did note, however, that a Constitutional amendment in Florida from 2016 gave way to the legalization of medical marijuana within the state.
“Our appeal today is an important step in the fight to make sure no patient has to choose between their rights and their medicine,” said Fried. “I will never stop being an advocate for full cannabis legalization. Full legalization will resolve many of the issues caused by irrational, inconsistent, and incoherent federal cannabis policies. Medical cannabis patients have the same Second Amendment rights as every American. Federal law cannot deem it illegal for a medical cannabis cardholder to purchase a firearm.”
Fried, whose office oversees the regulation of concealed weapons, argues that the question violates the Second Amendment rights of lawful medical marijuana patients and interferes with state-sanctioned law.
Fried campaigned for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the lead-up to her election victory to secure the Agricultural Commissioner role but hasn’t been able to break through, facing opposition on the matter from both state and federal administrations.
While recreational cannabis use remains banned in Florida, medicinal cannabis usage was legalized in 2016 through a constitutional amendment. The proposal, which appeared on the ballot as Amendment 2, was adopted with 71 percent of the vote.
In her official capacity as agriculture commissioner, Fried brought forth the suit in defense of three citizens who were denied purchase of a firearm.
The suit names the acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Attorney General Merrick Garland as a defendant, NBC reported upon the lawsuit’s original filing.
Fried is also advocating for loosened medical marijuana restrictions in Florida, as evident by her recent letter to Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo that criticized a recent state ruling that limits the THC dosage amounts and supply allocations doctors can order for medical marijuana patients.
Fried claimed that the sudden ruling imposed “severe harm” on Florida’s 700,000 medical cannabis patients, calling it an attempt to “circumvent the will of the American people.”
Fried further claimed that the rule would not have passed had the state sought out opinions from licensed medical providers and advisors.