Medical marijuana backer John Morgan takes calls on WMNF

02/21/14 Janelle Irwin
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday) | Listen to this entire show:
Tags: John Morgan, medical marijuana, pot, Charlie Crist, Pam Bondi, Tiger Bay


John Morgan at Tiger Bay Club of Tampa

photo by Janelle Irwin

Prominent Florida attorney John Morgan takes calls from listeners on WMNF. Click listen above to hear the interview and questions. Here is the story from his previous appearance at the Tiger Bay Club of Tampa:

Medical Marijuana is an issue attorney John Morgan says he’s fighting to bring to Florida, for the people. Morgan answered questions at a Tiger Bay Club of Tampa luncheon today where he said it would be a law of compassion.

Morgan first became interested in using marijuana for medical purposes when his father was suffering from emphysema.

Morgan, who had most of a packed dining area at the Straz Center rolling on the floor laughing with his constant joking, said it was difficult to convince his father who was opposed to marijuana use.

Morgan’s brother has also had success with using medical marijuana to treat leg spasms he has as a result of a spinal injury. But people like that are breaking the law. Morgan claims more than 300,000 people will immediately benefit from the medical marijuana law if it’s approved by voters in November. According to Public Policy Polling last month, the ballot initiative had 65% approval among Florida voters. But Morgan said that support may not be so high if ballot language had included broader uses for the drug.

It’s an issue that is gaining support statewide and nationwide with states like Washington and Colorado seeing success with marijuana sales. And Morgan points out, even some medical professionals are changing their minds. Dr. Sanjay Gupta who has a medical advice show wrote in TIME Magazine two years ago that he was against the medical use of pot.

Regardless, the debate is still getting pushback from many conservatives in Tallahassee. Attorney General Pam Bondi tried to have the referendum thrown out by the state Supreme Court arguing the ballot language was too broad. She lost. Others, like Tampa Attorney Adam Bantner, claim the referendum is just a ploy to get former Governor Charlie Crist his old job back against Republican Rick Scott.

That’s a claim Morgan says is absolutely not true. He pointed out that he was trying to talk U.S. Senator Bill Nelson into running when the campaign first kicked off – long before Crist was slated to run for the Governor’s mansion. Morgan said conservative critics oppose the ballot initiative based on fear and hatred, not facts.

Still other critics argue medical marijuana is unnecessary because there are pharmaceutical companies developing drugs with similar effects as marijuana – another claim Morgan rejects.

If the medical marijuana referendum were to pass this November, it would pave the way for doctors, and only doctors, to prescribe marijuana to people who suffer from things like epilepsy or cancer. A strain called Charlotte’s Web that is produced into an oil could be used for kids. But the logistics of how the program would work is still unclear. Kelly Aderhold hopes that if the measure is approved by voters it could be used to vindicate people who have been convicted of marijuana possession.

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