TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Department of Justice attorneys defended the federal law that bars marijuana users from buying guns this week. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried sued the Biden administration earlier this summer, arguing the policy violates the rights of medical marijuana patients.
In a motion filed Monday, attorneys stated “marijuana use impairs judgment” – as Florida’s Board of Medicine puts it, “the ability to think, judge and reason. It is therefore dangerous to trust regular marijuana users to exercise sound judgment while intoxicated.”
Drug users in America are legally barred from buying firearms under federal law, even if they only smoke marijuana, and even if they have a valid state medical license to do so.
Before purchasing a gun a buyer must fill out ATF Form 4473, which asks if they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana” or another controlled substance. It adds a specific warning that “The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside”.
Fried responded to the motion, calling it “beyond disappointing.”
“DOJ’s argument is as offensive as it is inaccurate, utilizing centuries-old case law and making false claims demonizing medical marijuana patients – including perpetuating prejudicial stereotypes that cannabis users are dangerous or mentally ill,” Fried wrote in a statement. The case is still in its early stages; no trial or hearing dates have yet been announced.