John Morgan raises medical marijuana ante with $6M in donations

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Editor’s note: This article is cross-posted on PoliticsOfPot.com.

John Morgan is upping the ante against casino billionaire/activist Sheldon Adelson.

Florida’s leading supporter of the Amendment 2, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana, says he has amassed almost $6 million in contributions for ads and additional get-out-the-vote efforts – a direct retort to the Las Vegas casino mogul, who has already given $2.5 million to Drug Free Florida, the group started by law enforcement officers to fight the measure.

“It seems like the more the other side comes up with money, the more comes to us,” Morgan said to Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel on Monday.

People United for Medical Marijuana, the political committee supporting November’s Amendment 2, has also spent more than $5 million to date. Both Morgan’s family and the Morgan & Morgan law firm have given $3.75 million of the total, which include contributions and loans.

Morgan said the new funding for the campaign would probably come through a newly formed federal 501(c)4 committee, which is not required to disclose donors.

Morgan dismissed claims that he promised donor anonymity to gain support, Deslatte writes.

“I don’t know that it really is. I don’t know that anybody really cares. I don’t,” Morgan told the Sentinel. “There are probably some Republican lobbyists that want to be shaded, but I don’t want to speak for them. …They know it’s going to be a whole new world for them, and they know it’s going to happen.”

Morgan expects to add more of his own money to support the measure, which requires at least 60 percent voter approval to pass. Most available polling puts support for Amendment 2 that level or above.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.