Super trial lawyer John Morgan is on the road this month talking up Amendment 2, the move to legalize medical marijuana in Florida that he's pumped millions of his own dollars into supporting. That's when Morgan made two deadly errors, at least in the minds of Amendment 2's opponents: He appealed to potheads and sounded a little drunk while doing so. This morning, the tape makes its debut in the newest attack ads against the proposal.
"If you motherfuckers don't get up and vote," Morgan tells the raucous crowd, "Fuck it all, we can't win."
Here's the thing, though: There's nothing wrong with Amendment 2 backers courting outright potheads to support the measure. Getting the Grateful Dead crowd to the polls is a damned smart move if they want this thing to pass. That doesn't mean, as the ad claims, that the bill "is not medical marijuana."
And yeah, earlier in his speech Morgan does joke about "smoking grass" himself as the college-aged crowd hoots and hollers. Again, there's nothing wrong with playing to an audience.
Politifact Florida and others have debunked most of the claims about Amendment 2 stealthily legalizing all weed in the Sunshine State, ranking the claim that patients could "get it forever" as "Mostly False" and suggesting opponents are misleading voters by claiming there's a huge loophole allowing anyone to become a "caregiver" to sell medical marijuana. (In fact, the amendment gives the state six months to write its own rules on who can become a caregiver.)
The latest ad follows a similar trajectory. It asks ominously, "Does this sound like a rally to help the sick?"
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Sure, Morgan sounds like he's had a cocktail or three and the crowd is equally rowdy. But watch his actual speech (zoom to the 5 minute mark), and you'll see it is exactly a rally to talk about how medical marijuana can help the sick.
Morgan tells the story of his brother getting paralyzed and how it awakened his own role as a medical pot advocate. "For the last 32 years, he's been hurting really badly," he tells the crowd. "Marijuana has been the only thing that has been his savior."