Florida: Nikki Fried's Guns And Weed Filing Slams DOJ For Offensive Characterization Of Cannabis Users

In August, the Department of Justice urged a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit broughy by Florida's Agriculture Minister Nikki Fried, which seeks to allow legal medical marijuana users to buy and own guns. The government argued that it was “dangerous to trust regular marijuana users to exercise sound judgment.

The DOJ cited offensive "parallels to past gun prohibitions for groups such as Native Americans, Catholics, panhandlers, as well as those who refuse to take an oath of allegiance to the government and people who shoot firearms while drunk."    

In a response brief filed on Wednesday, attorneys representing the plaintiffs said that DOJ’s “assertions and analogies to the contrary are insulting, illogical, and ahistorical,” as first reported by Marijuana Moment.

The document further reads that ”those are not even the most dubious comparisons or assertions the Defendants advance, as they also appear to equate depriving state-compliant medical marijuana patients of their Second Amendment rights to the historical disarming of Catholics and Native Americans.”

The filing also noted that DOJ’s parallels “stray too far from the laws at issue,” adding that they “seek to rely upon the historical concept that, generally, the government has sought to disarm those it viewed as dangerous.”

The attorneys requested that the court schedule a one-hour hearing for oral arguments to discuss these issues.

Background

Fried filed a Second Amendment lawsuit against the Biden administration in April, which she announced at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami on 4/20.

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

Since then, Fried has pointed out on several occasions that constitutional rights of state-legal medical marijuana patients in Florida are constrained because of the current language on a federal form that prohibits them from buying a firearm.

“This is not about guns, per se,” Fried said in June. “This is about the fact that, for decades, marijuana patients have been discriminated against—that they see their rights not being completely afforded to them, whether it is on housing or access to banking or employment. And this is one of their other rights.”

In July, Fried filed a revised complaint in a federal district court on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss several cases and sending them to lower courts for reconsideration. Those cases included bans on assault-style rifles in Maryland as well as large-capacity ammunition magazines in New Jersey and California. The high court’s move followed a landmark ruling that an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for the purpose of self-defense is protected by the U.S. constitution.

Photo: Courtesy of EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA by Pexels

 

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