Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and other plaintiffs will appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging federal prohibitions on medical cannabis patients buying and possessing firearms, CBS News reports. The lawsuit was filed in April and challenged the cannabis use question on the federal form required to purchase firearms.
The lawsuit had argued the question violates the Second Amendment rights of state-approved medical cannabis patients and violates a congressional budget provision preventing federal agents from interfering with state-approved cannabis laws. The lawsuit alleged the prohibitions “forbid Floridians from possessing or purchasing a firearm on the sole basis that they are state-law-abiding medical marijuana patients.”
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor ruled in favor of the Justice Department and dismissed the case. Winsor ruled that under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, cannabis remains illegal despite Florida’s medical cannabis amendment.
“In 2016, Florida stopped criminalizing the medical use of marijuana. Many people refer to this change as Florida’s ‘legalizing’ medical marijuana, but Florida did no such thing. It couldn’t. ‘Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, state laws cannot permit what federal law prohibits,’ and federal law still prohibits possession of marijuana – for medical purposes or otherwise.” — Winsor in the ruling, via CBS News
In a statement, Fried said, “no patient should have to choose between their medicine and employment, or a roof over their head, or access to capital – or any of their constitutional rights.”
“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,” she said. “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.”
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