M.D.M.J.

Reefer-endum Madness

John Morgan is pushing for the people

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Without question, the hero of the medical marijuana movement here in Florida is John Morgan, the Orlando-based attorney who funded the push to get Amendment 2 passed from his own deep pockets. He spent an estimated $9 million, slightly more than half of the $17 million generated in pot-related sales in 2017. And now it seems he may be prepping those stubby, well-manicured fingers of his to go spelunking into those cavernous pockets once again, which is good news for all you readers peeved at the methodical pace of the law’s implementation.

Morgan, 62, announced on Twitter on June 26 that he was looking to spearhead an effort to get another referendum on the ballot in 2020, one that would fully legalize “responsible adult use” (commit that phrase to memory) of cannabis hither, thither AND yon, making Florida the 10th state to do so. “At this particular time in America, people are tired of arguing about marijuana,” said Morgan in an interview with the paper of record, USA Today. ”Just legalize it and let it be … It’s a 21st-century business as we are losing jobs to robots and artificial intelligence.”

Speaking of artificial intelligence, Morgan had some choice words for Governor Rick Scott, who is currently calling in eight years’ worth of (party) favors in his campaign to unseat Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate. Big Pharma has mad love for “DJ Guvvy Guv” (this is a real thing), and he’s giving it back, in part, by standing athwart recent court rulings that have effectively liberalized marijuana laws, easing us along the path to eventual legalization. Scott’s obdurate opposition to these rulings certainly helped motivate Morgan to try moving the goalposts on this issue. Them boys, they are NOT friends.

Making the 2020 ballot will require getting 766,200 signatures, representing eight percent of voters in at least 14 of the state’s 27 congressional districts; expect the bulk to come from the Orlando-Tampa-Miami axis, where the population is as concentrated as the CBD oils. Signatures must be verified by Feb. 1 of that year, which means they’ll need to submit them by in late December. If Republicans keep the governorship, the verification process will be much shadier.

There are two other proposed amendments now undulating in obscurity, but since neither involves John Morgan, they don’t count. Reinventing the wheel on that timeframe may not be feasible, but if anyone can do it, Morgan can: 71 percent of voters approved amendment 2, so odds aren’t too bad that full legalization could pull the needed 60 percent. And with Democrats banking on an unusually
high voter turnout to bring forth a “Blue Wave” to wash The Donald out of Washington, a fresh reefer-endum of this type could be the rising tide to lift all their boats.

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