By Trish Christakis

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced a lawsuit against the Biden administration to try and block a federal lawsuit that prohibits medical marijuana users from buying guns or having concealed carry permits.

While in Miami on Wednesday, Fried also called for the full federal legalization of cannabis in the US.

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“While we continue to call for full legalization to resolve the many issues caused by the federal governments irrational, inconsistent, and incoherent cannibis policies, we are here today to announce that we are filing suit against the federal government, against the US Department of Justice, and the ATF over the violation of patients’ second amendment rights due to federal law deeming it illegal for a medical marijuana car holder to purchase or possess a firearm,” said Fried.

Fried, a Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida, held the press conference on April 20, or 4/20 day, a day which celebrates marijuana.

The lawsuit is over a federal form that must be filled out when someone buys a gun. It asks if the buyer is an unlawful user of drugs and specifies that marijuana is illegal under federal law.

In a state where the person is allowed to use marijuana, they have to check “yes,” and won’t be allowed to buy the gun. If the buyer checks “no,” and isn’t truthful on the form, they run the risk of a five-year prison sentence for making a false statement.

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Fried’s office oversees concealed weapons permits and medical marijuana centers.

She claims the federal form violates the Second Amendment rights of lawful medical marijuana patients.

“To be clear, I am in no way challenging the federal government’s right to enact reasonable gun regulations that protect the public. In fact, I believe that the federal government needs to take more common sense actions to keep families and communities safe from the senseless and horrendous gun violence that has tragically impacted our state over the years and my record speaks for itself on this. But denying the second amendment rights of medical marijuana patients is not about safety. There is no evidence that medical marijuana use makes individuals more dangerous or violent. What this is, plain and simple, is yet another violation of medical marijuana patients’ rights to do discrepancies in cannibis laws pushing for them to have state legal activity without a reasonable basis to do so–punishing them,” she said.

Fried was joined at Wednesday’s news conference by cannabis patients who had their gun purchases denied for honestly answering the question.

“No patient should have to choose between their medicine and employment or a roof over their head or access to capital or their constitutional rights,” Fried said.

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The issue extends beyond Florida, as 37 states have medical cannabis programs, Fried noted.

Trish Christakis