Orlando-based attorney and pro-medical marijuana advocate John Morgan has put $2.8 million into the effort to get the legalization of medical marijuana on the Florida ballot come November.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Morgan has given the folks at United for Care a $909,000 loan to advance the effort.
Morgan and United for Care have until February 1 to turn in 700,000 signatures to force a vote in November, and the lawyer is pushing hard and opening up his wallet as the deadline draws nearer.
Morgan has reportedly paid PCI Consultants Inc., a California-based signature gathering firm, $2 million to help bombard the state with ads talking up the benefits of medical marijuana, as well as pay people to gather signatures for petitions across Florida.
The aggressive push is twofold. First, there's the looming deadline. The organization set a goal to get 1 million signatures to be sure to hit the 700,000 mark.
"Most times with petition drives, you get people who may have signed a petition twice or may not be a registered voter," Ben Pollara, campaign director for United for Care, told New Times.
This drive includes getting signatures from people in the state's Panhandle and southwest Florida. Last week, the group announced a plan to hire people to hit the streets with petitions, paying them $3 per signature.
So far, the group has officially filed over 375,000.
The other part of the fight is to get the message out there in the face of GOP leaders looking to derail the drive as the Florida Supreme Court weighs in on whether the ballot's language is legal.