Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Goes After John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Speech in Ad
"Does this sound like a rally to help the sick?" So says a 30 second ad from anti-medical marijuana group No On 2 in reference to John Morgan's profanity-laced rant from a week ago.
Morgan, the Orland-based attorney and medical marijuana advocate who has poured millions of his own money into getting Amendment 2 passed, made the speech to a group of young voters during a post-debate party to rally them to get out and vote for the amendment in November.
It was only a matter of time before his opponents struck and used footage from the cellphone-shot video in an ad that looks to stretch their narrative that Amendment 2 will only lead to full-on medical weed for everyone in Florida, even those who aren't sick.
The group first struck late last week when they erected a billboard in Morgan's hometown targeting the attorney.
"Amendment 2 is riddled with loopholes," the billboard says. "It is one thing to be compassionate; it's another to be reckless," the billboard says. "Does John Morgan know the difference?"
But this time around, with the use of the more powerful Internet, and television, No On 2 is going directly after Morgan's speech, and using it against him.
In the video, Morgan addresses a crowd of mostly young voters at a place called Buckles Saloon in Lakeland, following his debate with No On 2 figurehead Sheriff Grady Judd. The video, which also features moments where Morgan shares his family's medical struggles over the years and how medical marijuana helps alleviate his quadriplegic brother Tim's pain, shows the attorney playfully addressing the crowd by dropping F bombs.
"I didn't smoke a piece of grass all the way here," Morgan tells the rowdy crowd. "But I'll tell you this, once I get outside the borders of Polk County, I might smoke a lot of grass. I'm just scared shitless of Grady Judd."
At this point, the crowd begins a "Fuck Grady Judd!" chant.
At one point in his speech, Morgan playfully admonishes the crowd saying, "If you don't fucking get up and vote, fuck it all, we can't win, I'm telling you. If you don't get your ass out of bed and vote, we will lose this election."
The No On 2 ad shows snippets of the speech, and splashes the words "Does this sound like a rally to help the sick?" in between Morgan's F-bombs.
The ad then closes with the words: "Amendment 2 legalizes pot."
United For Care's Ben Pollara addresses the ad in a statement via the group's website:
"The No On 2 campaign released a new 30 second ad, attacking our Chairman, John Morgan for a rousing, enthusiastic and impromptu speech he made at a country western bar in Lakeland. Their issue? John used some colorful language and made a joke about marijuana, before telling the story of his paralyzed brother Tim and his use of cannabis to treat his pain."
The statement echoes what Pollara said last Thursday in regards to the billboard:
"The opposition has so far been focused on trying to trick the electorate into thinking this is about legalization and not medicine," he said. "Now they want to run against a lawyer and not the issue at hand. We trust that the electorate is intelligent and compassionate. They continue to insult the voters at every opportunity."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.