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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

John Morgan’s next target: Swaying the Trump administration on pot

John Morgan and Roger Stone

@RogerJStoneJr on Twitter

John Morgan and Roger Stone



Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan scored a big win this week as state lawmakers passed a medical marijuana bill, which Gov. Rick Scott plans to sign.

Morgan bankrolled two political campaigns to legalize medical pot, finally succeeding in 2016. And though he plans to sue the state over a smoking ban in the law, he moved the needle on marijuana in the conservative Florida Legislature.

But what’s he up to next?

Morgan is contemplating a run for governor. And he’s keeping tight-lipped about whether he’ll actually jump into a crowded field.

Whether he runs or not, Morgan has started building relationships within the White House’s inner circle. He spent Saturday with conservative strategist and Trump ally Roger Stone talking about federal marijuana policy. Morgan’s fashioning himself as a Florida pot ambassador of sorts.

“Roger Stone speaks to President Trump on a regular basis,” Morgan tells the Times/Herald. “I am urging him to urge the president to remove marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. The president would gain the respect of many on this issue.”

Decriminalizing marijuana is one of the policy ideas Morgan has suggested as a priority if he does run for office. As is raising the minimum wage, which he has also considered pushing as a constitutional amendment.

Right now, though, he says he’s watching to see who else gets in the race.

“To me it is like dating,” he said Saturday. “You have a feeling when someone wants to go out on a date with you. I will know when the time is right. If Florida wants a fighter for them.”

[Last modified: Saturday, June 10, 2017 2:20pm]


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