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The human side of the big money behind the marijuana amendment

Morgan photo Adelson photoHere's a must-read from the Tampa Bay Times' Stephen Nohlgren on the unlikely relationship between John Morgan and Sheldon Adelson, the two big-money sources behind the Amendment 2 medical marijuana campaigns:

Trial lawyer John Morgan — whose outsized persona is already etched onto Florida's consciousness — said medical marijuana has boosted his celebrity even higher.

At the Orlando airport last week, eight to 10 people stopped him between the plane and his car to thank him for bankrolling the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, Morgan said. "Two or three wanted to have their pictures taken with me."

However, none of that hoopla surprised Morgan as much as an email that arrived three months ago from Nevada.

It came from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who had just donated $2.5 million to defeat Amendment 2 — instantly counterbalancing Morgan's wealth in the fight over medical pot.

"I was stunned,'' Morgan said. "He told me that I was all wrong.''

With his typical thick skin and glib patter, Morgan was delighted to respond — setting off an ongoing email exchange that now has the two titans on a first name basis, and a possible face-to-face meeting next month in Las Vegas.

"I like him a lot. He's a self-made man,'' said Morgan, 58. "He's is one of the most generous men on the face of the earth.''

Adelson, 81, did not respond to requests for comment on his marijuana stance or the emails he and Morgan have exchanged.

But Adelson's background provides a glimpse into what may have motivated one of the world's richest people to jump into the medical marijuana fray.

In 2005, Adelson's 48-year-old son Mitchell died in Fort Myers. Adelson's wife Miriam told Israel's Haaretz newspaper that her stepson, a long-time heroin and cocaine addict, overdosed. More here.


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tony smith

What about the "human" side of gambling addiction? He must know that destroys homes. He's a swine and a hypocrite. This article just encourages his hypocrisy. You should stop pretending he has a legitimate soft spot in his heart. It is made of stone.

ed jenkins

The citizens are thankful for this wise adelson who unfortunately knows too well the dangers of these dangerous illegal drugs because of the family tragedy they caused. Unfortunately there are many unwise citizens or some who might be confused about what they are voting for by those with sinister motives such as drug dealers, drug abusers or charlatans trying to fool people into healing powers of these dangerous illegal drugs. The citizens are pleased with the efforts of this adelson to educate those who might make the horrible mistake of supporting this most horrible measure that will harm our children and lead to worthless lives for adults greatly harming this family friendly state.

The Weez

Two types of people oppose marijuana legalization: those who got stoned when they were young and now feel guilty about it, and those who have a substance abuser in their close family circle. They cling to this belief that if marijuana weren't available then somehow this failure could have been avoided. It's a false belief. The core cause is not marijuana, and if they hadn't used marijuana they would have simply found a substitute drug.


we whupped Adelson in his home state of NEVADA.....

only a matter of time before we get my future second home, FLORIDA

just wouldn't be a fight for freedom without Sheldon on the other side



There are other types who oppose it. The type who knows that Charlotte's Web is already legal in Florida. The type that understands that criminals come in to "support" the growers and distribution centers. The type who understands that the only reason Morgan wants it is he is going to somehow make money off of it. That makes rational people question it.

The Weez

Why would criminals come into Florida to support a legal marijuana market when there is a thriving multi-billion dollar illegal marijuana market already here?


Adelson and his surrogates (Mel and Betty Sembler) mainly use the War On Drugs...as a backdrop to control politicians who may court their favor for copious campaign finance contributions, both in the state of Florida and nationwide.

Go against Sembler and you will certainly loose in any political Florida race (at least on a funding standpoint).

The reason for the "War on Weed" is exactly the same as why Richard M. Nixon waged the same war during the Vietnam war....to CONTROL POLITICIANS and Dissidents ....

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