Nikki Fried

Can You Have Both a CWFL and Medical Marijuana Card

Nikki Fried Interviewed on The Marijuana Solution

A week before being sworn in as Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, appeared on The Marijuana Solution’s podcast.  In the interview, Commissioner Fried stated that under Florida law a person with a Medical Marijuana card could apply for and receive a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (CWFL).  Further, she said that those who already have an MMC should not lose their CWFL.  Commissioner Fried stated that she reviewed all the laws associated with concealed weapons permit and does not see where any law would not allow a person to have both an MMC and a CWFL.  Additionally, Commissioner Fried disclosed that she in fact has both.  Finally, Commissioner Fried said that under her leadership, the Department of Agriculture, “will not be taking anyone’s concealed weapons permit, or refusing to issue a CWFL,” due to the person possessing a medical marijuana card.

Fried admits that possession and purchase of firearms is controlled by federal law

Fried admits in the interview that the possession and purchase of firearms is controlled by federal law, stating that she plans to go to Washington DC to lobby on this issue.  Fried, further states that she believes that since, alcoholics and people addicted to prescription drugs are allowed to purchase and possess guns, those with a medical marijuana card should also be able to purchase and possess firearms.

To listen to Commissioner Fried’s interview, go to: FL Commissioner of Agriculture Elect Nikki Fried

Marijuana is a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE under federal law

It is important to know that under federal law, if you decide to use marijuana under a lawful prescription or otherwise, you will be in violation of federal law and you will be forfeiting your right to carry, own, ship, transport, receive or in any way possess a firearm.  In fact, the ATF sent a letter to all Federal Firearm Licensees reminding them that 18 U.S. C. § 922(d)(3), makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.  (Click the link below to read the letter.)  Having a valid lawful prescription of marijuana in Florida does NOT make you a lawful user of marijuana under federal law.  In their letter, the ATF wrote, “…any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”

To read the ATF letter, click here: ATF Letter on Medical Marijuana

Florida law does not prohibit the Department of Agriculture from issuing a CWFL to anyone prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

Although Commissioner Fried is correct that the law does not make it illegal to have both a medical marijuana card and a CWFL.  Commissioner Fried should clarify her statements before she gets otherwise law abiding citizens arrested.  The text of Florida Statute §§790.06 (2)(f) and (n) appear below:

The statute begins, “The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall issue a license if the applicant:”

(f) Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. It shall be presumed that an applicant chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired if the applicant has been convicted under s. 790.151 or has been deemed a habitual offender under s. 856.011(3), or has had two or more convictions under s.316.193 or similar laws of any other state, within the 3-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted;

(n) Is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by any other provision of Florida or federal law.

Florida is a shall issue state.  The law informs the Department of Agriculture when they shall issue a license and does not give them discretion.  In other words, if the person meets the eligibility requirements then the Department shall issue a license.  However, the law does not prohibit Commissioner Fried from issuing a license to those who do not qualify for one, but only tells her when she and her department must issue the license.  Commissioner Fried and the Department of Agriculture would be violating Florida law if they refused to issue a CWFL to a person who is qualified, but violate no law by issuing a CWFL to an applicant who does not qualify under the shall issue requirements, even if possessing a firearm by that individual is illegal.

The spirit of Florida Statute §§ 790.06(2)(f), and 790.06(2)(n) are both ignored when the Department of Agriculture issues a CWFL to a person with a Medical Marijuana Card, even though no law is broken.  Unfortunately, most people who receive a CWFL believe they have a right to possess a firearm.  However, if they use medical marijuana, they do not!  Even though they have a CWFL they are still prohibited by federal law from possessing or purchasing a firearm.

Using medical marijuana and possessing a firearm is illegal

Although the Department of Agriculture, under Commissioner Fried is issuing CWFLs to those with  medical marijuana cards and is not seeking to revoke those already issued, anyone who has a medical marijuana card and/or prescription for medical marijuana should be aware that the federal government and the ATF are not bound by Commissioner Fried’s interpretation of the law and can and likely will still prosecute those who possess firearms.

The expert firearm attorneys at The Firearm Firm are here to help.  Further, our primary goal is to keep gun owners legal.  If you have any questions about firearms and medical marijuana or any other firearm related questions, visit our website, search our knowledge base, or leave a question for us to answer.  The Firearm Firm is a statewide Second Amendment and self-defense law firm proudly serving the people of the State of Florida.


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