Pot smokers may still not exercise their 2A rights without violating federal law, and that includes those who use cannabis for medicinal purposes.
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U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor made this clear when he dismissed a lawsuit this week challenging the longstanding federal prohibition that prevents marijuana users from keeping and bearing arms.
“In 2016, Florida stopped criminalizing the medical use of marijuana. Many people refer to this change as Florida’s ‘legalizing’ medical marijuana, but Florida did no such thing. It couldn’t,” wrote Winsor in his 22-page decision.
“‘Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, state laws cannot permit what federal law prohibits,’ and federal law still prohibits possession of marijuana – for medical purposes or otherwise,” Winsor continued, referencing an established legal precedent.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried filed the lawsuit back in April in the hopes that the Biden Administration would relent, specifically as it relates to those who use weed as medical treatment.
“I’m suing the Biden administration because people’s rights are being limited,” the commissioner said. “Medical marijuana is legal. Guns are legal. This is about people’s rights and their freedoms to responsibly have both.”
However, Biden’s DOJ urged the court to uphold the law, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
“Analogous statutes which purport to disarm persons considered a risk to society—whether felons or alcoholics—were known to the American legal tradition,” the DOJ stated in an August memo.
Denying 2A rights to pot smokers “is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” DOJ added. “Two related historical traditions are analogous: the tradition of excluding those who engage in criminal activity from the right to bear arms, and the tradition of disarming those whose status or behavior would make it dangerous for them to possess firearms.”
Judge Winsor agreed with the DOJ’s historical examples and expounded further in his ruling.
“Plaintiffs recoil at being compared to the mentally ill, but one does not have to label marijuana users mentally ill to recognize that both categories of people can be dangerous when armed,” Winsor wrote.
“Although the prohibition reaches those habitually using marijuana (even if not currently under the influence), habitual drug users are analogous to other groups the government has historically found too dangerous to have guns. At bottom, the historical tradition of keeping guns from those the government fairly views as dangerous – like alcoholics and the mentally ill – is sufficiently analogous to modern laws keeping guns from habitual users of controlled substances,” he went on to say. “This provides another justification for upholding the challenged laws.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Fried planned to appeal Judge Winsor’s ruling. As always, stay tuned for updates.