1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Battle rages between Rick Scott, John Morgan over smokable medical marijuana

'Call the dogs off,' the trial lawyer tells the Republican governor, who's appealing a court decision.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke to the media at the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department, in Tampa on Feb. 28. “We have to get something done," Scott said. "We have to change the direction of the state.” (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published Jun. 2, 2018
Updated Jun. 3, 2018

Trial lawyer John Morgan is urging Gov. Rick Scott on Twitter to "put the politics aside" and drop the state's appeal of a court decision that legalized smokable medical marijuana in Florida.

Morgan, who won the case in state court and who was a major backer of Amendment 2 that legalized medical pot in Florida in 2016, had already urged his nearly 62,000 twitter followers to call Scott's office and urge him to drop the appeal. Morgan, a Democrat, sides with Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Scott's opponent, who said Friday he supports letting patients with cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and other conditions smoke medical marijuana in private.

Scott, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, appeared on an Orlando TV station and defended the state's decision to appeal.

"This is not about politics. This is about following the law," Scott said on Fox 35 in Orlando. "We've got to follow what the law is."

Circuit Judge Karen Gievers in Tallahassee, in a decision last week, agreed with constitutional law expert Jon Mills that Amendment 2, which was approved by 71 percent of voters, included a definition of "all types of medical marijuana."

The state immediately filed an appeal, which effectively blocked the implementation of Gievers' ruling.

In a six-minute Twitter video, Morgan accuses Scott of doing the bidding of Mel Sembler, a wealthy St. Petersburg Republican donor and Scott supporter who opposed legalizing medical marijuana.

"Believe me, Rick, Mel Sembler is going to vote for you and give you money no matter what," Morgan says.

More than 6.5 million Florida voters cast ballots in favor of the amendment in the 2016 election. By comparison, President Donald Trump got 4.6 million votes in Florida.

Speaking directly to Scott, Morgan says in his video: "You control the state of Florida. You have the power to tell the state of Florida and your lawyers, 'Drop this appeal' … It is wrong morally and it is wrong politically."

Scott, on Fox 35, said: "I want to make sure people get the health care they need. But we're going to follow the law."