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TV Debate Addresses Medical Marijuana Issues

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
John Morgan, left, and Jessica Spencer debated the medical marijuana issue in a 30-minute debate Tuesday night.

United For Care’s John Morgan and substance abuse counselor Jessica Spencer squared off Tuesday night in a televised medical marijuana debate.


The debate, hosted by Orlando television station WESH, lasted 30 minutes. Florida voters will decide whether to legalize full-strength medical marijuana this November.


Moderator Adrian Whitset asked Morgan about the argument that Amendment 2 would be de facto legalization of recreational marijuana. Whitset said if there’s more marijuana out there, more people will be using it.


“Listen, you look like a young guy to me,” Morgan said. “If you wanted to get marijuana, you could have it in five minutes. I’m an old guy, I’m an old fat guy. And if I want it, I can get it in five minutes. Getting marijuana is not a problem in Florida.”


The moderator asked about recent Drug Free Florida’s adsclaiming pot candy will be marketed to kids. Whitset asked if it was “fear mongering.”


“I wish it was fear mongering, but unfortunately, it’s accurate,” Spencer said. “To use one of Mr. Morgan’s favorite terms, Google it. The EdiPure, it says medical on it. This is exactly what we see in other states with quote medical marijuana. And the amendment specifically says edibles.”


Ads have said Florida’s medical marijuana law will not allow doctors to write prescriptions. Doctors would face losing their license for prescribing a Schedule 1 narcotic, which legally has “no accepted medical use.”


“Why is it a Schedule 1 drug?” Morgan asked. “Years ago there was a movie called ‘Reefer Madness,’ which stood for the proposition that a black man and a white woman might get together. So you know what they did? They made it a Schedule 1 drug so we can’t even study it.”


While it’s true that doctors would risk their license to practice medicine by prescribing a schedule one drug, marijuana is studied by researchers. But it requires significant oversight by multiple federal agencies.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.