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John Morgan endorses Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner

Orlando attorney, entrepreneur and marijuana advocate John Morgan gave his full-throated endorsement to Democrat Nikki Fried in the race for Agriculture Commissioner.

Morgan, a self-made multi-millionaire known for his personal injury law firm’s ubiquitous advertisements, announced his support in a Thursday tweet.

He admitted that the office of Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a Cabinet-level position, was one he “never cared about — until now.”

Morgan was behind the 2016 state constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana, and organized the pending lawsuit against state officials to allow medical cannabis to be smoked. A judge allowed it earlier this year; her ruling is on hold while the state appeals.

He also favors full legalization of adult use of marijuana, and has suggested he might fund another initiative for that on the 2020 ballot.

“Maybe it’s just time for full legalization,” Morgan has previously tweeted. “It would pass with flying colors!”

On her website, Fried — a lobbyist who specialized in representing medical marijuana concerns — says she’s running for Agriculture Commissioner “because she saw firsthand how our politicians failed the people with medical marijuana.”

She also said the “Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have obstructed its implementation and denied access to sick, injured and dying individuals in our state.”

In a video accompanying the tweet, Morgan referred to previous Ag. Commissioners: “In the past, these people oversaw fair rides and citrus, which is now going away fast.”

The citrus industry has been hit by a greening epidemic; the so-far incurable disease attacks the fruit, causing it to turn green and bitter, and eventually killing the tree.

“There is one person running that speaks to marijuana like nobody I’ve ever seen, and her name is Nikki Fried,” Morgan said. “She’s a 21st century candidate in the 21st century.

“The Agriculture Commissioner’s office will become an important one if things go the way I hope they go and the way you hope they go,” he added. “… If you care about what I care about, and that is the legalization of marijuana, the implementation of medical marijuana, and helping many of our citizens get well, … then I hope she has your vote.”

Fried is running against Republican Matt Caldwell, a north Fort Myers state representative, in the November general election.

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Written By

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 jim@floridapolitics.com.

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