Orlando attorney John Morgan is traveling to Tallahassee tomorrow to discuss his push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida with the Tiger Bay Club. Morgan will speak in front of the political club at 11:30 a.m. about his efforts to raise money and signatures for a constitutional amendment in 2014, according to Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United for Care.
The push for medical marijuana is officially underway in Florida, and Orlando attorney John Morgan spent Thursday at the state capitol lobbying for its legalization.
Since announcing his support for medical marijuana earlier this year, Morgan has become the face of the statewide push to put pot on the ballot.
In Tallahassee on Thursday, he took on the issue, saying it’s about medicine.
“It’s really for the critically ill, the terminally ill, not for someone who is having a bad hair day,” Morgan said.
It’s going to take about 700,000 signatures to get the medical marijuana issue on the ballot, and Morgan was pressed about how many signatures he has collected.
While Morgan said there is a lot of excitement, he wouldn’t say where the effort actually stands.
Morgan, who has pledged his name and financial support to the measure, told reporters time is running short and that the group needs all of the signatures to force the ballot issue. He said collecting them will cost money.
Morgan has pledged to raise $3.5 million to help collect the signatures and millions more to lead the campaign to turn out the vote next year if the measure makes it to the ballot.
“I just think the word ‘drugs’ scares people, and with old people like me, I think about what it can do for them because they are the ones with the bone cancer and emphysema,” he said.
Morgan joked Thursday, saying he wasn’t sure who would oppose the issue, but it’s a line that’s already forming, Heath said.
Plus, many people believe the push is nothing more than a ploy to boost support for Morgan’s employee and potential candidate for governor, Charlie Crist.
Supporters also said they believe legalizing medical marijuana would make the state money, but there’s very little data in Colorado and California to show any real financial benefit, Heath said.
Morgan addressed the issue, saying the free-for-all marijuana system that has been targeted by federal agents in California would not happen in Florida under the proposed law he helped write.
“I guess the cartels in Mexico may oppose it,” he said.
Opposition from several groups is already mounting, including the American Cancer Society and the Florida Police Chief Association.
Groups point out that legal cannabis drugs are already available by prescription, with the American Cancer Society saying it opposes all forms of smoking.
Critics also said the sudden push for pot is nothing more than political gamesmanship, a calculated move to drive voters to the poll to support Crist, an idea Morgan dismissed.
“Don’t think turnout for medical marijuana would be that decisive,” he said.
Crist hasn’t officially announced he’s running for governor, and even if he does, the medical marijuana issue still needs the nearly 700,000 signatures to make it on the ballot.
You must be logged in to post a comment.