The legal challenge to the ballot initiative for legalizing medical marijuana has been denied by the Supreme Court, and Florida voters will get a chance to allow medical marijuana when they go to the polls later this year. The denial was a blow to Attorney General Pamela Bondi, who raised the challenge to the wording of the ballot initiative. The political side effect is that it may hurt her reelection chances if the marijuana vote draws more democrats to the polls. Governor Rick Scott has also come out against medical marijuana, while his challenger, Charlie Crist is for it. Crist is employed by attorney John Morgan, who is the primary financial backer of medical marijuana. Morgan and his organization poured 4 million dollars into the signature drive, which was successful in garnering the necessary vote to get the measure on the ballot.
This is just the beginning of the campaign: supporters still face an uphill battle to garner the required 60% of the vote for the measure to pass. It will be interesting to see how the candidates incorporate their support or disapproval of the measure during their campaigns.
Is it Medicinal?
The ballot initiative for medical marijuana has garnered enough signatures to be on the ballot in the upcoming election. It still faces a challenge, as the state Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has filed suit to keep it off the ballot, alleging the language is unclear or misleading. The state Supreme Court has heard argument, and will make a ruling whether the initiative will be on the ballot.
There is some political intrigue, as noted in the linked story above, because democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist works for attorney John Morgan, who has been the main backer of the medical marijuana movement in Florida. If marijuana is on the ballot, it would probably be a boon to his candidate, Crist. Meanwhile, if Bondi is able to keep the measure off the ballot, that will probably assist she and other Republican candidates, such as incumbent governor Rick Scott. Those factors may play as large a role as anything in the marijuana debate that Florida will encounter this year.
The topic is serious, with thousands of ill Floridians unable to seek medicinal marijuana to ease symptoms of Cancer, AIDS, and other ailments. However, Florida Weekly’s take is just too funny not to share. As we have noted before, Attorney John Morgan, of Morgan & Morgan has put his money behind his belief and is spearheading a petition drive to get medicinal marijuana on the Florida ballot. The current hurdle is a legal challenge to the wording of the proposed initiative by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. That is being decided in court right now. Until that is resolved, enjoy this image of a grinning John Morgan superimposed over a mess of marijuana. “For the Reefer” indeed… well played FL Weekly!
Florida Weekly Cover
Crimcourts is on record against legalization for the simple reason that I’m a defense attorney… it would be bad for business!
Famous TV attorney John Morgan, known for his ubiquitous commercials for Morgan & Morgan, is a big time supporter of medical marijuana, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. Not only has he been heard in advertisements touting a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, reports indicate he is throwing substantial financial support behind the effort: to the tune of a quarter million in the last three months.
When I did a radio guest spot on B103.9 a few weeks back, someone asked if their out-of-state marijuana card did any good here: no, marijuana is ALWAYS criminal in Florida. And they suspend your driver’s license if you are convicted of even the smallest amount of possession. The caller asked if that was ever going to change, and until recently I had not seen any movement on it. There has not been any perceivable interest from Tallahassee. However, this kind of financial backing may give the grassroots movement the backing to make a change. Crimcourts will continue to track the issue.
For more info, you can visit the website for the group pushing the ballot amendment, People United for Medical Marijuana.