Mitch Perry Report 11.3.14: Medical marijuana looks to be a loser on Election Night


For supporters of getting medical marijuana legalized in Florida, the best news you heard this weekend was probably John Morgan's remarks to the Tampa Bay Times'Stephen Nohlgren on Saturday that as long as Amendment 2 is close to getting the 60 percent approval required for passage in tomorrow's election, he's prepared to fund another campaign in 2016.

That's a good thing if you want medical pot in Florida, because all signs indicate that Amendment 2 will not get the 60 percent required for passage in 2014.

Public Policy Polling released its final survey before tomorrow's election, and it shows the measure leading, 53-41 percent. You couple that with the Times's recent poll showing the measure getting just 48 percent (which seemed exceedingly low to us), and you don't have to be Nate Silver to surmise that a win for medical marijuana at this point would be a considerable upset.

The post mortems have already begun in the Florida political blogsophere, with many pointing the finger at Morgan himself for not being the ideal representative of the pro-medical pot crowd. Specifically, critics point to Morgan's inebriated speech at the Boots N Buckles Saloon in Lakeland, where he tossed out F-bombs like it was candy on Halloween, as being the moment when the momentum changed in the campaign.

True? Perhaps to a degree. But give credit (or blame) as well to Sheldon Adelson for his $5.5 million in donations to the No on 2 crowd, which helped them spend money getting lots of airtime warning Floridians about the dark side of medical cannabis. 

And remember: If it weren't for Morgan, we wouldn't even be voting on this issue. The reason Florida is just coming around to voting on the issue now (some 18 years after California became the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana) is in part because there was no financial infrastructure in place until Morgan stepped up and became the primary bank-roller of the campaign.

Incidentally, the PPP survey shows the governor's race still deadlocked, in this case at 44 percent apiece. 

In other news...

We'll get the final tally later today, but Democrats were hoping for a big day at the polls yesterday, the last day of early voting before tomorrow's official Election Day. Two top strategists for the Scott and Crist campaigns weighed in.

What would it be like if Amendment 2 were to somehow win? CL's Devon Crumpacker reports.

And it doesn't look good for Democrat George Sheldon in his battle against GOP incumbent Pam Bondi in the attorney general's race. On Friday Sheldon held a news conference in Tampa, where he blasted his opponent as the most "unethical attorney general" in his lifetime.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]