The fight to legalize medical marijuana in Florida this November is getting money from the man who first pushed the mission: John Morgan.
The prominent attorney has kicked $4 million of his own money.
Morgan, who many people know through hi TV ads as "For the People," said he's pushing to pass Amendment 2 for his dad, his brother, and others who may suffer from a debilitating disease.
"It's all frivolous until it happens to you," says Tim Morgan. "It" happened to Tim Morgan in 1977: A lifeguard accident broke his back. He's now quadriplegic. His excruciating pain has gotten only worse over the decades.
"I had cancer in 2003 and a pacemaker put in two years ago," said Tim Morgan, who claims medical marijuana gets him through the day as director of the Morgan and Morgan. "You just break out in a sweat for no reason you smoke pot and it stops. Why? I don't know I don't care. It works."
"With my dad, he was dying from emphysema," said John Morgan. He has also seen medical marijuana help his father in his final days. "It gave him appetite on Day 1, and it took away his anxiety."
That's why the attorney is throwing his support and money behind Amendment 2. If passed with 60 percent of the vote, it will allow a physician to prescribe medical marijuana to sick patients, and the state will regulate production and distribution.
"I have never met one person, because there's none, who have ever died from a marijuana overdose ever. It's so simple and so easy, and that's why I think it's going to pass," John Morgan said.
But Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, one of Forbes Top 10 Richest in the World, is trying to make a win tougher.
Adelson donated $2.5 million to help the opposition, including Drug Free Florida, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Sheriffs Association.
Morgan understands that the battle's personal for Adelson, too. "He lost his son in 2005 to some sort of drug overdose, and he believes that all drugs are bad. He lost a son, so who am I to judge his motives? I would never do that," John Morgan said.
Morgan believes more money from the opposition will push more supporters to the polls. "The more money that comes up against this, the higher turnout will be. Right now everyone thinks this is going to happen, and if there is a big movement against it, I think there's going to be people getting up off the couch is and getting out of their seats like they never would have before," John Morgan said.
"Turn out will be great, which would be the worst thing for Rick Scott. If it becomes a big fight, I think people will turn out and I think higher turnout is good for Charlie Crist and bad for Republicans," John Morgan said.
Other wealthy supporters have also thrown their money into the fight over marijuana legalization. According to The Daily Mail, billionaire George Soros has funneled at least $80 million into legalization since 1994. Former Progressive Insurance Chairman Peter B. Lewis, who died last year, donated at least $40 million to the cause.
In fact, it's reported that Soros and Lewis provided 68 percent of the funding that went to New Approach to Washington, the group that mobilized signatures to get the legalize marijuana initiative on the state ballot and then promoted it.
Morgan expects to roll out "Yes to 2" advertising after Labor Day, depending on funding levels.
Voters weigh in at the polls on Nov. 4. "The people of Florida want this," John Morgan said. "The question is do the people who vote want this?"
The ballot summary, which by law is limited to 75 words, reads: "Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients' medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana."
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