MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried plans to sue President Joe Biden's administration to block a federal rule that prohibits medical marijuana users from purchasing firearms or maintaining concealed weapon permits.
The lawsuit focuses on a federal form that asks if a gun buyer is an unlawful user of drugs and mentions marijuana is illegal under federal law.
A form from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives specifies:
"Warning: 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."
If a person legally allowed to use marijuana in Florida answers "yes," his or her firearms purchase is denied.
Lying by answering "no" runs the risk of a five-year prison sentence for making a false statement.
Obtaining both a concealed weapons permit and a medical marijuana license isn't an issue in Florida. Fried said she holds both cards.
A Florida concealed weapons permit is honored in 36 other states. The lawsuit is aimed at the national forms to purchase firearms.
"This is just one of the many areas where medical marijuana patients face discrimination or access issues due to being prescribed a state legal medicine," Fried said. "We hope to see the federal government take action to address this violation of medical marijuana patients' constitutional rights and to also take action to legalize cannabis overall, to end the horrible discrepancies between state and federal laws that continue to harm patients, imprison tens of thousands of Americans and stifle the growth of the cannabis industry to the detriment of our economy."
The lawsuit would affect patients across the country. Thirty-seven states have legalized medical marijuana and recreational use is legal in 18 states.
"Medical marijuana is legal. Guns are legal. This is all about people's rights," Fried said in a statement to NBC News. "And I don't care who I have to sue to fight for their freedom."