John Morgan calls on Rick Scott to drop medical marijuana appeal

John Morgan inset art

Saying “this madness has to end,” Orlando attorney John Morgan called on Gov. Rick Scott to drop the hastily-filed appeal of a decision allowing medical marijuana to be smoked in Florida.

Morgan spoke at a Tuesday news conference that was streamed live on Facebook.

In a 22-page order released Friday, Tallahassee Circuit Judge Karen Gievers said that the ban on smoking is “invalid because it conflicts” with the constitutional amendment on medicinal cannabis approved by statewide voters in 2016.

Gievers agreed with the argument that the amendment “recognizes there is no right to smoke in public places, thereby implicitly recognizing the appropriateness of using smokable medical marijuana in private places.”

The state filed a notice of appeal within minutes of the decision’s release. 

“How much more money is the state of Florida going to spend chasing (its) tail?” Morgan said. He backed the amendment, passed by 71 percent of voters, and filed the lawsuit against the ban. 

” … I really believe that Gov. Scott is playing with political wildfire for something that he does not have to do.” The term-limited Naples Republican now is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson

Scott is “going to have to explain to veterans and really sick people and people who have really bad injuries why (he) kept this (case) going,” Morgan said. ” … Rick Scott is the boss and the buck stops there, with the man wearing the Navy hat.”

The state regulates the drug through its Office of Medical Marijuana Use, under the Department of Health, the named defendant in the case. It reports to Scott.

Last year, lawmakers approved and Scott signed into law an implementing bill for the amendment that does not allow marijuana to be smoked. It does allow edibles, oils and ‘vaping,’ among other uses.

That statute now must be “stricken,” Gievers said, as “unconstitutionally inconsistent.”

“Anybody that gets upset if he decided to drop this appeal, they’re not going to vote against him,” Morgan said. ” … I believe Gov. Scott has a political chance to make a huge dent … Imagine the headlines tomorrow: ‘Great Scott: Gov. Scott drops medical marijuana appeal.’ I think he gains five points overnight.”

Assuming the governor presses forward, “the fight goes on,” Morgan said. “They did not count on a person like me. Thank God I have the resources … Thank God I hate to lose.”

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Art Vandalay

    May 29, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Gov. Scott won’t drop the appeal. As long as Big Pharma continues to bankroll his Senate run, he’ll obey his corporate paymasters. Florida’s Medical cannabis rollout has been a complete disaster, by design. The shady folks behind “Drug Free Florida” (Calvina Fay, Mel & Betty Sembler) helped write Rep. Ray Rodriguez’ House version of the bill. The head of the OMMU, Christian Bax, was placed there to delay implementation. He has no cannabis industry experience and NO experience in running State programs. Just so happens his sister is the governor’s assistant. Shameful.

  • Kevin

    May 29, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I’m a disabled vet and there is no sense in trying to keep the people down it’s a God given plant that is safe and should not be controlled…. take gun rights from drunks and pain killer patience…. see where that gets you but leave my plant alone

  • Christopher M. Kennard

    May 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Between 2012 and 2016, I was one of the thousands of non-partisan, unpaid volunteers collecting signed petitions from registered Florida voters to legalize the use of “medical marijuana.”

    I gradually became a volunteer North Central Florida Coordinator, organizing teams of Floridian volunteers collecting petitions, conducting public meetings at public libraries, colleges, in restaurants, at union meeting halls, local AARP membership meetings, with several political groups (including Green Party, Libertarians, Democrats and Republicans) as well as in people’s living rooms with their neighbors, all about the value of all plants of the genus, Cannabis, and in particular, the many uses of “medical marijuana” to promote healing, to cure, and to alleviate pain and suffering for millions who are afflicted with numerous medical conditions, diseases, and injuries.

    At every meeting, gathering of people or individuals to whom I spoke about the use of medical marijuana, I always mentioned the use of cannabis by smoking it, as Cathy Jordan afflicted with ALS, has been doing for over 30 years. Cathy is a hero for many people today, given all that she and her husband, Bob Jordan, have done to assist others.

    So I join with John Morgan, and call upon Governor Scott to immediately drop this case and begin to assist and aid Florida citizens who greatly benefit from the uses of cannabis, including smoking “medical marijuana.”

    In 2015, I also began to collect the RIGHT OF ADULTS TO CANNABIS [Initiative Serial # 15-20] when I first became aware of Cathy Jordan, her loving husband, Bob Jordan, and their circle of friends like Colby Wise, Arnold and Caroline, Jody James, and many others who formed the FLORIDIANS FOR FREEDOM to create a new Florida state constitutional amendment ballot initiative petition for Florida voters to read and sign.

    The RIGHT OF ADULTS TO CANNABIS law, as proposed, provides the right of adults in Florida to possess, use and grow their own cannabis [marijuana] on private property; even within your own home or the house of an adult friendly neighbor down the street or across town.

    This new law requires the collection of nearly 1 million signatures from registered Florida voters over the next year, in order for us to be able to vote at the ballot box in the 2020 election. This is the way the people of Florida can bypass the politicians to vote to approve fully legal cannabis (including hemp crops) in November of 2020 and two months later, in January of 2021, cannabis becomes completely legal, ending the state’s prohibition of cannabis since the late 1930’s, without further delay.

    Go to to print out a petition to read, and hopefully to sign while making two more copies to ask other registered Florida voters to sign, make two copies to pass along and so on; creating a daisy chain of cannabis petitions being signed and mailed in or collected locally, in every county. Every Florida county has a group that can be found on FACEBOOK. Type in your county’s name, followed by Floridians For Freedom.

    Until cannabis is fully legal, people will continue to be arrested, convicted and confined for possessing, using or growing their own personal cannabis. People continue to lose their job or cannot even find or keep a job due to random and pre-employment “drug tests” that detect cannabis for up to 30 days in your body.

    Lastly, I am a true non-partisan voter who remains an “Independent” because I often find that I cannot agree with any political parties platforms or guiding principles. Instead, I vote for the person who the candidate is; whether they are honest, up-right, have retained their personal, professional and political integrity and will serve the vast majority of the people of the United States, not just the mega-wealthy few.

    Governor Scott seems to be tied to dishonest corporations, PAC groups and other unsavory folks, so I will be surprised if Scott is intelligent enough to realize that folks like me who vote in every election will not be voting for him for our Florida Senator this year, given his foolish and perhaps “dishonest” move to keep cannabis away from legal use by the good folks in Florida. Foolish move!!!

    I say the same to the Democratic Party’s standard bearer, our current Senator Bill Nelson, who if wise will come back to earth and fully support the legalization of cannabis on the state as well as ending the federal prohibition of cannabis forever!

    It is time for a change, folks . . . isn’t it?

    • Marcie Davis

      May 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Unfortunately the link to print the petition isn’t working. I went to the sight and clicked on the petition and can’t get it to print nor is it working on the website. Please advise… I am one of the people who has helped get this passed also and will fight until there’s no more fight in me. I have Crohn’s Disease and I know for a fact Medical MJ helps so much!

  • Scott

    May 29, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Just fucking pass it you fucking douchebag

  • Lance Trottier

    May 29, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Gov. Scott is basing his actions on who’s bankrolling him, and on his own personal opinion, rather than what the overall majority of Florida voters voted for. Far too many politicians (at EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT, Scott included) have forgotten who the “bosses” are… WE THE PEOPLE, not they the politicans. It’s long overdue that we re-assert ourselves as the “boss”. We, the taxpayers, pay their salaries and exhorbitant benefits (that way too many of us don’t even get).

Comments are closed.


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