Written by attorney Donald A Pumphrey Jr.

Medical Marijuana and Guns: With Dispensaries Popping up in Florida, How These Rights Conflict

In the state of Florida, you can legally own a gun, or semi-legally treat an illness using marijuana, but the harsh reality is that you can’t do both. As of the writing of this article there are already 21 dispensaries in the state of Florida, ready to fulfill medical marijuana orders.[1] Approximately 50,000 Floridians have signed up to take advantage of this decriminalized medical treatment.[2] There were originally some questions about how difficult it would be to implement the voter-created addition to the Florida Constitution, but now it appears as if lawmakers are finally on track. There are still roadblocks to those hoping to use marijuana legally. First, non-medical use is unquestioningly illegal in the state of Florida, and you can be arrested without a medical card. Second, marijuana is a controlled substance according to federal law, and illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.[3] This means, that even with a medical card, the federal government can come after marijuana users. There is wide support for legalization though; 29 states, and D.C. have legalized at least some sort of marijuana use. Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and (as of the new year) California all allow full recreational use.[4] Even though the president and the justice department have recently made statements that prosecutors would have more power to go after marijuana, this seems to only be against large scale distribution.[5] Those using marijuana with a medical card have very little to worry about as far as federal law enforcement goes.

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Ultimately, in the state of Florida, you can either own a gun, or treat an illness using marijuana, unfortunately both is not an advisable option due to federal law. If you have any questions about how state and federal law affect your rights, contact a qualified attorney who can help you. Our attorneys are experienced in Florida and federal gun and drug laws, and can answer questions on how best to approach these activities. If you have any issues and you’re arrested or cited by law enforcement then you need an attorney who will work hard to defend your rights in order to have the best possible outcome. Call our office any time at 850/681-7777 to set a free consultation.

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