Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried continues to take issue with cannabis policy under the Joe Biden administration.
On Tuesday, Fried responded to a motion from the Department of Justice to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services challenging disqualification of the state’s 740,000 medical cannabis patients from legally buying guns.
The case “goes on,” Fried said, with a response pending from FDACS to the motion to dismiss.
“We were disappointed not only with the motion but with the memo attached to the motion, calling marijuana users dangerous,” Fried said.
As the pro-cannabis Marijuana Moment reported Monday, the Justice Department argues it would be “dangerous to trust regular marijuana users to exercise sound judgment” with guns, as cannabis “causes significant mental and physical impairments that make it dangerous for a person to possess (a) firearm.”
Fried, whose passion for cannabis is documented, blasted the DOJ as “offensive,” “inaccurate” and “prejudicial” in a statement from her office Tuesday.
“The federal prohibition of a state-legal medicine continues to harm patients, imprison tens of thousands of Americans, and stifle the growth of this growing industry to the detriment of our economy. It is beyond disappointing that with this motion to dismiss, rather than taking this opportunity to address this violation of cannabis patients’ constitutional rights, the Department of Justice has chosen to double down on harmful prohibition policies,” Fried contended.
“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.”
Guidance from the ATF dating back to 2011 warns federal firearm licensees against selling to a known user or someone who is “addicted to marijuana.” Prospective gun owners must answer questions about cannabis use honestly or face potential criminal penalties, a decision Fried contends puts a disproportionate burden on cannabis patients.
“I filed this lawsuit to bring attention to how the federal government’s inconsistent and illogical cannabis policies are creating not only confusion, but actual harm,” Fried said Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, the issue raised in our lawsuit is just one of the many dilemmas posed that is affecting a massive number of Floridians and even more patients nationwide. Though this particular pathway intended to move much-needed cannabis reform forward might be cut off, I will never stop looking for outside-the-box ways we can further this fight until we achieve full and equitable legalization.”
Disappointed that @TheJusticeDept moved to dismiss our case, and that they would perpetuate such harmful and offensive prejudicial stereotypes that cannabis users are dangerous or mentally ill to do so. We MUST keep fighting for equitable legalization.
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) August 9, 2022