John Morgan Teams Up With Roger Stone as Marijuana Industry Moves to #DisownStone

Last Wednesday, Florida megalawyer and possible gubernatorial candidate John Morgan formally announced a new partnership with onetime Trump adviser and dirty trickster Roger Stone, saying the two were launching a bipartisan effort to push the president toward marijuana reform.

But the timing couldn't have been worse: The very next day, Morgan's peers in the weed industry threatened a boycott of an upcoming pot conference where Stone is scheduled to appear as a keynote speaker. By last Friday, 30 of the most prominent leaders of the movement had signed a petition calling for conference leaders to #DisownStone. The letter-writers point out numerous instances of Stone making racist, sexist, and homophobic comments, which include calling the Rev. Al Sharpton a "professional Negro," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz a "JAP," and Rachel Maddow a "muff-diver."

"Stone’s position on cannabis is positive, but does not excuse his hateful statements and actions taken against women, people of color, Jewish people, and other vulnerable populations," the petition states. "As industry leaders, we demand that Roger Stone not be invited to share our space. As cannabis companies, we demand that our reputations not be sullied by association with such a person."

Groups such as the Minority Cannabis Business Association have also withdrawn from the conference, citing Stone's involvement:

The uprising makes for a rocky start to the new partnership between Morgan, a top Democratic fundraiser; and Stone, a "Trump loyalist conservative." The two go way back, although they haven't always been on the best of terms: In 2013, when Morgan began funding the effort to put medical marijuana on the ballot in Florida, Stone called the attempt a "phony scam" and then blasted Morgan on Twitter:
Now that medical marijuana is finally a reality, it appears the two have patched things up. In June, Stone and Morgan met to discuss decriminalization, and earlier this month, Stone said he would endorse Morgan if he ran for governor. Their joint announcement of the United States Cannabis Coalition signals a new beginning for the odd couple, who have vowed to pressure Trump to honor states' rights when it comes to marijuana legalization.

"All Americans can and should come together to stop the war on marijuana... Pain, disease, and mental illness don't pick political parties — just people," Morgan said in a news release last week. "This is the perfect issue for 'strange bedfellows' to come together on and WIN."

But almost immediately after Morgan announced the partnership, the rest of the marijuana industry began calling for Stone's head. As of Tuesday, the petition for organizers to rescind Stone's invitation to the L.A. conference had 429 supporters, many of whom are well-known figures within the marijuana movement.

It's unclear if increased pressure from the industry will cause Morgan to distance himself from Stone, although it seems improbably at this point. Over the weekend, the Orlando attorney tweeted a news story about the unlikely partnership at Donald and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner:
Morgan's office did not respond to a request from New Times asking for his thoughts on the petition. Stone also failed to immediately respond to a call.
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Jessica Lipscomb is news editor of Miami New Times and an enthusiastic Florida Woman. Born and raised in Orlando, she has been a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Contact: Jessica Lipscomb