Hillary Clinton

Can a Foul-Mouthed Trial Lawyer Get Hillary Clinton to Chill Out on Marijuana?

Well, he's very wealthy.


Should we be grateful for her lack of substance?
Credit: marcn / photo on flickr

Florida trial lawyer John Morgan was last referenced here in February absolutely humiliating Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her nanny-statish attack on Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Morgan was a major player in pushing the initiative, helping draft it and spending millions trying to pass it. Ultimately, it failed, just barely. Politico reported that Wasserman Schultz agreed to change her position if Morgan recanted his criticism of her. He refused and then released his communications with her office to the press.

Now, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be heading Morgan's way, no doubt with her hat in hand. The problem, Betsy Woodruff notes at The Daily Beast, Clinton is not a particularly notable advocate of medical marijuana use, and her position is not exactly clear:

Clinton's stance on medical marijuana is about as obtuse as Morgan's is clear. The former secretary of state has indicated that she's comfortable with the Obama administration's hands-off stance to Washington and Colorado's legalization of marijuana, but she's also telegraphed some Reaganesque views on the drug war.

"I think the feds should be attuned to the way marijuana is still used as a gateway drug and how the drug cartels from Latin America use marijuana to get footholds in states," she told KPCC radio last July.

Tyler Henson, president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, said that comment concerns advocates of legal weed.

"I do worry about some of her previous statements that she's made, particularly that it's a gateway drug," he told The Daily Beast. "It makes me feel like she doesn't see the value and the benefits of it."

There's also that time back in 2011 when she obliviously declared that America couldn't legalize drugs because there was "too much money in it." More about that here from ReasonTV.

Read more The Daily Beast here (the "foul-mouthed" reference in the headline will make sense very quickly).

Morgan and marijuana activists will be trying again in 2016 to get medical pot on the ballot in Florida. Morgan is big in Democratic circles in Florida. His wife, a Republican, is a Jeb Bush fan, and they may end up hosting a fundraiser for him, too.  

But Jeb Bush also opposed Amendment 2 and urged voters to reject it. It would be hilarious to see the most institutionally-driven, dynastic candidates on both the left and the right have to capitulate to populist support of medical marijuana use because it hurts their campaigns to do otherwise. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen; Morgan may decide other issues are too important to dress Clinton or Bush down. But it is worthwhile to see them pushed hard on this issue by people whose support they need.