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Drug Free America calls John Morgan lawsuit ‘disappointing’

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John Morgan’s lawsuit against the state for not allowing medical marijuana to be smoked is “disappointing,” but “not surprising,” said the head of the Drug Free America Foundation on Thursday.

Morgan, the Orlando-based attorney and entrepreneur, backed the medical marijuana constitutional amendment that was OK’d by 71 percent of voters last year on the statewide ballot. He filed suit earlier on Thursday.

“It is obvious that the goal of the Legislature, which puts the health and safety of all Floridians first, is in clear conflict with his plans to profit from the sale of marijuana in the state,” said Calvina Fay, the foundation’s executive director, in a statement.

Morgan previously has “acknowledged a business plan to acquire an existing grower,” but avoided questions about details.

On Thursday, he sidestepped another question about his business interests in medical marijuana, saying he “wake(s) up every day in a 100-percent effort to make money, and lots of it … I’m never going to apologize for that.”

Fay said Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers “took the responsible approach in implementing” the state’s new constitutional amendment on medical marijuana. Their legislation (SB 8-A) allows vaping and edibles, but not smoking.

“Florida (is) setting a standard that can be followed by other states seeking to make their medical marijuana programs safer and more responsible,” she added.

“While not perfect, the legislation succeeded in finding a balance that protects the public health and safety of all Floridians while allowing the legal access to marijuana that was approved by voters.”

The St. Petersburg-based foundation was founded in 1995 by former U.S. Ambassador Mel Sembler and wife Betty.

It opposes what it calls “so-called medical marijuana,” saying in part in an online position paper, “Since marijuana is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no way to determine proper dosage and potential side-effects with other medications.”

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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