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Florida Lawyer Who Funded Medical Marijuana Measure Gets Behind Recreational Legalization Effort



The personal injury attorney who poured millions into Florida’s successful medical marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign in 2016 says he’s getting behind an effort to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2020.

John Morgan initially said that he wouldn’t be getting involved in the issue, opting instead to bankroll a campaign to raise the minimum wage. But on Tuesday, he wrote on Twitter that he is “too old to care” and believes “marijuana should be legal.”

“I think we have time and I think there is money to get it done,” Morgan said, noting that he already helped secure enough signatures on a petition to raise the minimum wage. “Let’s do this maybe, forget Tallahassee!”

The self-described “pot daddy” also responded to a tweet questioning whether he made the decision capriciously.

“Not at all,” he wrote. “But I will need help, I think it is coming!”

Morgan told The Orlando Sentinel that he decided to join the legalization effort after being “approached by industry leaders who have the deep deep pockets to do it and do it fast.” He said getting it on the ballot “will be hard,” but should the initiative get on the ticket, it “will pass in a landslide.”

It’s not clear which “industry leaders” Morgan is referencing, but at least one active campaign is being headed by a lobbyist for the dispensary chain MedMen.

There’s also a separate a campaign underway to get legalization on the state’s 2020 ballot, run by advocacy group Regulate Florida. Last month, the group announced it had collected enough valid signatures to prompt the state Supreme Court to review language of the initiative. Organizers emphasized that gathering the other 90 percent of signatures required to qualify for the ballot will take work—and money.

To get the proposed constitutional amendment approved, 60 percent of voters will have to cast their ballot in favor of the measure. An earlier 2014 medical cannabis measure that Morgan funded was approved by 58 percent of voters on Election Day but did not exceed the supermajority threshold needed for passage.

A June poll from Quinnipiac University showed that 65 percent of Floridians back marijuana legalization.

Morgan said he hasn’t decided which campaign he will join yet, or whether he will create a committee to legalize himself.

Interest in reforming Florida’s cannabis laws is shared by some in the legislature, including Rep. Shevrin Jones (D), who filed a bill on Monday to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession.

Florida Lawmaker Files Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana

Photo courtesy of Nicholas C. Morton.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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