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Florida Medical Marijuana petition campaign suspended? What the hell is going on? [UPDATED! EVERYTHING'S FINE!]

August 15, 2013


Take all of this with a grain of, well, you know, but something seems to be afoot in the United for Care/People United for Medical Marijuana push for petitions to get the (sorta) legal weed on the 2014 ballot. And, hey, that would suck, right? In this week’s Happytown™, we addressed some concerns currently being lobbed about by libertarian/conservative consultant Roger Stone – though most of Stone’s concerns revolve around the hypocrisy of Charlie Crist on the drug issue, some of them paint their bull’s eye right on the head of Morgan & Morgan millionaire attorney (and boss of Crist) John Morgan. Morgan, claims Stone, has morphed the whole campaign into a private club for liberals who love Crist, while, in Stone’s belief, “This cannot be about partisan politics or it will never get done,” he says in an email this afternoon. Anyway, that’s all big picture stuff, and the sort of political cage-rattling you expect in in These Divisive Times.

But then something peculiar happened. Even though we ran into Mike Morgan, John’s son, last night at an event with adult beverages – and even though the young Morgan said that, to his knowledge, the campaign was moving along fine, except that gathering petitions statewide is “hard” (we’ve heard solid estimates of 10 percent of the 700,000 required gathered already) – we started hearing today that the petition campaign has been suspended.

Our first anonymous tip went something like this: “I was working the petitions and I received an automated phone call saying they’re suspended. I called the person in charge of the Orlando office and she told me that John Morgan backed out. She also said it was most likely an indefinite suspension since he was the main backer.” Oh, really?

We phoned up Orlando campaign coordinator Deborah Banks, and she verified that yes, as of last night, the campaign had been suspended (she also started talking about having to pull an advertisement and get refunded or something, but we don’t even have a wallet). Peculiar!

We (again) reached out to every known number we have for John Morgan and left messages, but still haven’t heard back. We put out an email to our new friend Roger Stone and he said, “I have heard this also – trying to confirm. I am working on bipartisan legislation to be introduced into the legislature for the next session.”

Then we called up Mike Morgan, just to see if maybe we had a few too many greyhounds last night, and might have misunderstood “fine” for “over” in regards to the campaign. He hadn’t heard anything, but promised to get back to us.

BUT!!!! Here’s the thing. Back when we first talked to John Morgan about his involvement with the campaign a few months back, he mentioned that he planned to utilize a petition-gathering agency from Las Vegas to bolster local grassroots petition gathering, so maybe this is just the part where the grassroots get the Round-Up? Anyway, we’ll keep you updated as we he hear more. For now, hunker down and light up.

UPDATE!!!! We just finally heard back from John Morgan, and he is basically saying that the whole thing is a sort of misunderstanding? Perhaps it’s just the paid petition signers that are being suspended. Anyway, here’s his message:

“Not true at all. We have collected 100K signatures. We need 60K to be reviewed by the Supreme Court,” Morgan writes. “We are being overwhelmed by volunteers who will collect. Once we have the ruling, we may or may not need to hire paid gatherers. I start a huge advertising campaign soon on radio in Florida seeking volunteers this is so important and people are so enthused that we may be able to do it all with volunteers who will then help us get out the vote. So we are in great shape.”

Oh, and also some choice words about Stone (NATCH), and a reminder that we apparently never empty our full voicemail inbox. EVERYTHING’S FINE!

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  • EEanne VVest

    ill hop on the petition signing …… i can can get a few thousand signatures no problem. consider it done .. message me when ever this hold gets lifted…

  • rob

    I just signed the petition a half hour ago

  • Leyla

    everything’s fine..? I lost my job and I’m not being paid for the two weeks of full-time work I put in, there’s mothers with babies being sent out of the office in tears with a “too bad for you” attitude. There are people who were working this full-time as a main job with the promise of 7 month’s work, who received texts last night saying come to the office on Friday (to drop off the last petitions) and aren’t being paid for the work they have done. How is everything fine when people statewide are suddenly out of work with no warning and no final cheque?

  • sandra

    the message line out of Daytona says to bring all petitions in by 4p and that it would take 7 to 10 days to get paid and so I hope that is true as I just started doing this a few days ago but already have a few hundred…..dang…..and makes no sense to stop if everything fine but cant do it if not gonna get paid….

  • Kb10000

    Dude, read the article! There is no ban so it is important that you collect and submit those thousands of signatures you mentioned.

  • Justin @ Chevron

    I’ve collected 50 so far and plan to get many, many more. :)

  • Matthew Cunningham

    The most patriotic thing we can do is end the madness of prohibition. Which has proven to be the most destructive policy since Slavery. A Trillion Dollar industry addicted to the lies fraud and scam of these ungodly and unholy Laws. The insult to American Jurisprudence and our judeo christian beliefs. People have, are and will do decades in kennel size spaces for the Draconian mentality of the prohibitionist and their evil cash cow. This is not only John Morgans fight its the hundreds of millions of the worlds Cannabis Culture who have to look over their shoulder in fear. For what a plant that give enjoyment and healing to its user. His petition leaves out a lot what medical patients need and can afford. This is all our fight and I am sure getting paid would help most of us but there is, dam bursting open with the passion that will take this forward. Down load print and pass it out. The right side of History.

  • Matthew Cunningham

    You might want to Google: Canadian Marc Emery a Cannabis POW finishing a five year Sentence in a Fed. prison in Mississippi for giving money to Medical and legalization groups.

  • Maitland

    I Wish Greed wasn’t what Americans needed for motivation to change the world. No Floridian citizen should be put in jail for a plant that can grow anywhere in the glorious sunshine state. THAT plant then gets transformed into hempcrete, bio fuel, Food, and Medicine!
    Our Hardy Founding Fathers knew the value of this plant, and invested time and money hoping the sons of liberty would carry their traditions for generations after.
    Why our government would give power to private big corporations for regulation of the American citizen? my guess is a 5 letter word you can figure out. Why, we the people need selfish goals in order to help humanity.

  • Joshua Giesegh

    If it makes you feel better.. I’ve logged 10,000 hours, well closer to 12,000, in the campaign and never received a single penny.. Did spend well over a grand of my own money and lose out on trend of thousands of dollars in work.. But, yeah, those only in it for the money are hit the hardest when the money isn’t there fast enough..

  • Joshua Giesegh

    Well.. Yeah, there’s that.. But more the thousands of illegal seeds he distributed..

  • Tom Snider

    John Morgan is a lier, and his son is a lier also (like father like son).

    He promised to spend $500,000 on the campaign but then refused to turn over the money after the publicity subsided. IT’s just about getting enough votes for Charlie Crists so he can retain his position as Governor of Florida.

    Where’s the money Mr. Morgan???

  • Matt

    Hey everybody, how can I collect signatures on my own from people I know? I live in the Florida panhandle, but I’d like to do my part and I know I can get plenty of signatures. Would it be possible for me to simply print out a bunch of the petitions, get them signed, and mail them off?

  • illpayitforwardtobelegal!!

    we get paid when we pass it!! :))))

  • AgainstTheGrain

    How do i get paid to sign?