Opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana has been circulating a cell-phone video showing United for Care benefactor John Morgan giving a profanity-laced speech to young voters about marijuana.
The anti-medical marijuana group No On 2 cut down a six-minute video of Morgan at a post-debate party last week, showing him ranting about marijuana to a rowdy crowd.
This, No On 2 is trying to show, is proof that the quest for legalized medical marijuana is a front to getting marijuana legalized outright in Florida.
Morgan, an Orlando-based attorney and medical marijuana advocate, has poured millions of his own money into getting Amendment 2 passed. Last Thursday, Morgan debated the amendment with the head of the biggest medical marijuana opposition, Florida Sheriff's Association Sheriff Grady Judd, in Lakeland.
After the debate, Morgan addressed a crowd of mostly young voters at a place called Buckles Saloon in Lakeland. 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, was sliced down by No on 2 to highlight the more compromising moments of the speech.
The speech, Morgan fires off F-bombs to the rowdy crowd, which, at one point, begins a "Fuck Grady Judd!" chant.
It's these moments No on 2 focuses on, showing that Morgan's true intention is to have Amendment 2 open the door to all marijuana being legalized in Florida.
"I didn't smoke a piece of grass all the way here," Morgan tells the frenzied 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 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."
In a statement about the video, No on 2 spokesperson Sarah Bascom says the video shows "John Morgan's real reasons behind his campaign to legalize marijuana. Their campaign has tried to be the moral authority on compassion, but clearly, their chairman fell off the wagon."
For his part, Morgan released his own statement on the video saying, among other things, that even with his profanity, the message remains the same:
"Some of my speeches will be G-rated, and some will be X-rated. Some will be humorous and tongue in cheek. While this is not language I use in church, my message is the same one. Very sick people need our help. The Florida legislators refused to even hear testimony, much less vote.
"My comments at the end of the unedited video are what is important. This is for my brother and hundreds of thousands of people like him. I am not a user of marijuana. As I said, 'I am not a marijuana guy.' This is about compassion. It will not be the last time you hear a speech from me that jokes around with the crowd nor will it be the last time you hear a speech with profanity. I am not running for office and never will. That allows me to tell the truth and motivate the way I see fit."
United for Care Campaign Manager Ben Pollara echoed Morgan's statement.
"While John Morgan used some colorful language in an effort to get young voters to go out and vote this fall, he said nothing different than he previously has during the course of this campaign," Pollara says. "Marijuana helps the sick and suffering, and voters should approve Amendment 2 this election.
"Despite lies and misleading edits from tobacco lobbyists in opposition to Amendment 2, no news was made in this video," Pollara added. "Should the Florida press decide to report on this video, the headline should read: Lawyer Says the F-word."
You can view the longer, unedited version below:
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