Florida Firearm Ownership & Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana has become increasingly popular among the people of Florida, even though the federal government has yet to legalize it. However, gun owners in the state of Florida should think twice about whether or not to obtain a medical marijuana card.
A medical marijuana recommendation may be legal according to Florida state law, but federal law says that marijuana is not. Medical marijuana use prohibits you from obtaining a weapons permit in Florida, as the federal government considers medical marijuana to be a controlled substance, which is against federal law.
To purchase a gun in Florida, you have to apply for a weapons permit by filling out ATF Form 4473. A section of this form asks if you are an unlawful user of illicit drugs, which it explicitly states as including marijuana. The ATF Form 4473 also mentions that the use or possession of marijuana is against federal law regardless of the state law on legalizing marijuana for medical use only. Therefore, even though Florida state law and federal law differ on whether or not marijuana is legal, federal law will be reviewed when applying for a gun.
Medical Marijuana And Concealed Carry Gun Laws In Florida
The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the right to buy a gun. However, the law on concealed weapons is subject to both federal and Florida state regulations. To obtain a concealed weapons permit in the state of Florida, you have to adhere to both federal and state requirements. Because the federal government identifies marijuana as a controlled substance that is still illegal under federal law, Florida will not issue you a gun permit if you use medical marijuana.
The reason that state laws and federal laws can be different is because of the powers vested in each entity. The state of Florida can regulate health, welfare, safety, and morals. Therefore, each state can choose to make marijuana legal to benefit the health of those who need it and find it helpful.
Medical marijuana and concealed carry in Florida, unfortunately, do not go hand in hand. The biggest risk you run into when owning a gun and being a medical marijuana user is being accused of fraud.
Within the initial Firearms Transaction Record (ATF E-Form 4473) for your weapon, the document states:
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? 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 you lie on your form and say you don’t use medical marijuana in Florida, then you can be prosecuted for breaking the law. Gun owners who have a medical marijuana card should be especially careful, as having a medical marijuana card is a clear indicator that you use medical marijuana regularly.
Can I Own A Gun If I Have An Expired Medical Card?
The answer to this is maybe. The ATF believes that possession of a current medical marijuana card is evidence that you are using a controlled substance. Therefore, you have to be very careful as the owner of a medical marijuana card that your card is not still active when applying for a gun in Florida. However, if you no longer use marijuana and your card is expired, you may be able to prove that you are compliant with federal law by undergoing a drug test for marijuana.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to the Pensacola concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address some areas of concealed carry laws in Florida, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises, or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer for a specific case.