FLORIDA: Spurred by deeply personal connections to drug use, two wealthy men have emerged as the biggest players in the debate over medical marijuana in Florida.
For John Morgan, an Orlando trial attorney who has spent $4.7 million on the pro-pot campaign, the motivation comes from a younger brother who has been paralyzed for decades. Illegal marijuana eases his pain when prescription drugs can’t, Morgan said.
“If he took the pills they prescribed, he would just be in a trance,” Morgan said. “He’s able to take one or two hits, and instantaneously the pain goes away.”
For Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire who gave $2.5 million to anti-pot efforts, inspiration comes from the death of a son by drug overdose. Adelson couldn’t be reached for comment.
If voters approve Amendment 2, an initiative to allow patients with cancer and other ailments to use cannabis with the permission of a doctor, Florida would join California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and New York on the growing list of states to legalize medical marijuana. But there’s a catch: Unlike other states, where convincing half of voters to say yes to pot proved an easy task, Florida requires ballot initiatives to win 60 percent of the vote.