DOJ Doubles Down on firearm prohibition for marijuana users
The Department of Justice stood by federal law that prohibits medical marijuana users from owning and carrying a firearm after Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried sued the Biden administration at the beginning of the summer, arguing that the policy violates the Second Amendment rights of all medical marijuana patients. According to the DOJ’s motion, it is, “dangerous to trust regular users to exercise sound judgment while intoxicated.
In the United States, all illegal drug users are federally banned from purchasing a firearm under law, including those who smoke marijuana and have a license to do so. Before purchasing a firearm, the buyer must fill out ATF Form 4473, which questions whether the customer is an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana” or other controlled substances. According to the form, 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.”
There’s no denying that marijuana has an intoxicating effect, but to act as though it is more intoxicating than alcohol, which enjoys legal protection, is absolutely ludicrous. Fried, who challenged the Biden administration’s policy, called it “disappointing” and believes that these claims only serve to further demonize medical marijuana patients, while those who drink alcohol or use opioid prescriptions are free to purchase and carry firearms.
Fried’s case is still in its earliest stages, and no trial or hearing dates have been announced yet. However, a victory, in this case, may progress marijuana legalization nationwide. One of the major reasons Republicans refuse to legalize marijuana at the state level is because it serves to disarm any citizen who uses marijuana medically or recreationally. The Republican Party staunchly supports the Second Amendment, and will likely never prioritize legalization over the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
If a court finds that the federal policy prohibiting marijuana users who engage with the plant legally is unconstitutional, Republicans at the state level may reconsider their opposition to proposals that would end prohibitions on cannabis.