John Morgan, others making bigger push for medical marijuana in Florida

John Morgan marijuana hbtv hemp beach tvThis month, proponents of medical marijuana are starting one of the most organized efforts in Florida to include doctor-approved cannabis in the state’s constitution, and a local leader from one of Orlando’s largest law firms is funding it, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. As previously reported, John Morgan, co-founder of Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan PA, is taking the lead for Florida’s medical marijuana campaign.

The campaign raised $193,167 between January and March — the majority coming from Morgan — and the total raised for 2013 by the People United for Medical Marijuana has reached $248,000, with Morgan contributing another $50,000 toward the effort in June, according to another report by the Herald-Tribune.

But this month, the campaign is making a big fundraising push, with “some very high-profile national people” agreeing to contribute, Morgan told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

A devout Christian, Russell homeschools her children and drives them to play dates in a minivan. The 42-year-old is treasurer of a stay-at-home moms group and a member of her local Republican executive committee. She does not own any tie-dye clothes.

Still, the bumper sticker on Russell’s Chrysler Town & Country can draw “interesting looks.” Passing drivers sometimes smile or give her a thumbs up when they read that Russell wants to make medical marijuana legal in Florida.

The issue has been an obsession since shortly after Russell’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and she learned the drug may help control the symptoms.

Russell cashed out her retirement account and took on a second mortgage to finance a petition drive in 2009. She went to speaking engagements in pearls and a suit. It was the second push for a medical marijuana amendment in Florida in a decade.

Like the first, it failed for lack of resources. But Russell and others are betting the third time is the charm. They have reason to be hopeful.

This month medical marijuana proponents are starting the most organized effort Florida has ever seen to enshrine doctor-approved cannabis in the state’s constitution.

Unlike past petition drives, this one will be well funded. Personal injury lawyer John Morgan — famous for his “for the people” television and billboard ads — is pledging to do “whatever it takes” to pass the referendum next year.

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