TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NBC News) — Florida’s lone statewide elected Democrat, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, joined WFLA Now Wednesday to discuss her plan to sue the Biden administration and attempt over a federal rule that prohibits medical marijuana users from buying guns or maintaining concealed-carry permits.
The lawsuit is timed to land on April 20 — a nod to the slang reference of “420” for marijuana.
The lawsuit targets a federal form that asks whether the gun buyer is an unlawful user of drugs and specifies that marijuana is illegal under federal law. A person allowed by the state to use marijuana must then check “yes,” which results in denial of the purchase. Lying by checking “no” runs the risk of a five-year prison sentence for making a false statement.
Fried, whose office oversees concealed weapons permits and medical marijuana centers, argues in her lawsuit that the form violates the Second Amendment rights of lawful medical marijuana patients.
“People drink alcohol all the time, people have other prescription medications and that’s not prohibited,” Freid said in a live interview on WFLA Now. “This is not by any stretch of the imagination making this less safe. In fact, this is going to make things more safe.”
Fried said users of medical marijuana would be permitted to purchase and carry a firearm following a “thorough background check.”
“Everybody wants a thorough background check on our gun owners,” Fried said. “This allows our medical marijuana patients to actually buy guns legally, and that means they are going through background checks. This is actually creating a safer environment for those individuals.”
Fried’s lawsuit argued the form violates the so-called Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing anti-cannabis policies in states that have opted for legalization.
While it’s rare for a Democrat to sue a Democratic administration during an election year, Fried said the issue can no longer wait because of the volume of complaints her office has received.
“It’s time for the federal government to release they’ve created discriminatory policies for medical marijuana patients,” Fried said.
You can watch the full unedited interview in the player above.