Florida medical marijuana advocates, financier regroup for ’16

When marijuana supporters heard that Florida’s medical marijuana initiative failed on Nov. 4, they were disappointed. When they heard that the ballot measure failed with 58 percent of Floridians voting yes, many were just confused.

While 3.37 million votes did not provide the super-majority of 60 percent needed to amend Florida’s constitution, the setback has not dissuaded advocacy group United for Care and John Morgan from continuing the fight.

People United for Medical Marijuana, the medical marijuana campaign organized by United for Care, will continue to receive support from Morgan. The wealthy attorney financed over half of the campaign’s $7.4 million budget with a total of $4 million in cash and loans donated, according to the Herald-Tribune. The paper quotes Morgan crediting the loss with gaining more humility.

“I think with humility you can be much more reasoned, much more measured,” said Morgan, “and you can take failure and turn it into success.”

The Drug Free Florida Committee caused the extraordinarily-high cost by opposing medical marijuana in Florida, backed by the 12th richest person in America. Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, bankrolled Drug Free Florida’s $6.3 million campaign with $5.5 million of his own money.

Morgan says he will continue to push for medical marijuana in Florida for the 2016 election. United for Care announced on its website on Nov. 25 that a new petition will be coming soon to start the process earlier. Adelson and Drug Free Florida are expected to continue their opposition.

An allied group, Florida For Care, will be pushing for legislative changes expanding the state’s restrictive medical marijuana program during the 2015 session. The Florida Legislature passed a bill legalizing “CBD-only” marijuana extracts for special cases shortly before the election.

This article was originally published by Marijuana.com.

Published by P. Aiden Hunt

Aiden Hunt is a creative writer and freelance journalist covering marijuana policy and other related issues. He has been published in print and online by outlets such as The Denver Post (The Cannabist), Marijuana.com, The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine and Cronic Magazine. He is currently focused on literary creative nonfiction.

%d bloggers like this: