Even though a federal judge just threw out his case, Florida’s agriculture commissioner isn’t giving up on his lawsuit against the federal government’s rule that people who have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition as a result of using marijuana can’t buy or own guns.
Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) and her patient co-plaintiffs appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
In a news release, Fried argued, “As I said when I filed this lawsuit, no patient should have to choose between their medicine and employment, or a roof over their head, or access to capital—or any of their constitutional rights.”
The court disagreed with the plaintiffs and argued that “illegal drug users can restore their Second Amendment rights by simply ceasing their drug use.”
Although the Department of Justice appeared to back down from its previous claims in a September filing that cannabis use increases the likelihood that people will commit violent crimes in general, it maintained that people who use marijuana are inherently too dangerous to own guns because they are breaking federal law, even if it is a misdemeanor offense.
In an earlier filing, Fried and others argued that the Department of Justice’s position that medical marijuana patients are inherently dangerous is inconsistent with the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to bear arms, since drinking alcohol is legal for adults over the age of 21, despite the Department’s position to the contrary.