John Morgan’s Intoxicated Speech Outrages Opponents and No One Else

In this digital age where cell-phones are everywhere, and where every phone has a camera, it is hard to have an embarrassing moment that isn’t captured on film. Of all people, public figures have to watch what they say because someone could always have the camera rolling.

John Morgan, the leading voice of the medical marijuana movement in Florida, has just learned that the hard way. Footage of him has surfaced where he delivered an expletive-filled speech in a bar after the Lakeland debate on August 28, 2014. The footage began to surface after it had been circulated by members of the Vote No on 2 campaign. The footage is filled with amusing drunk quips and peppered with F-bombs as Morgan tries to speak above the rowdy crowd.

Perhaps the most salacious and controversial remarks were when Morgan said, “I didn’ta smoke a piece of grass all the way here, but I’ll tell you this, once I get outside the borders of Polk County, I might smoke a lot of grass. I’m just scared shitless of Grady Judd.” The crowd responded with a rousing chant of “Fuck Grady Judd,” but Morgan did not join in.

In response to the video, spokeswoman for the Vote No on 2 Campaign, Sara Bascom, said in a statement, “We believe this video, in all of its offensive glory, shows John Morgan’s real reasons behind his campaign to legalize marijuana. Their campaign has tried to be the moral authority on compassion, but clearly, their chairman fell off the wagon.” It is ironic that she speaks of compassion when her organization edited the part of the video where Morgan actually talks about compassion and how medical marijuana has helped his family.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this story isn’t the video itself, but rather how people are responding to it. The news media are running headlines with phrases like “obscene pot-rant” and “CAUGHT ON CAMERA” with feigned surprise and outrage. Polk County Sherriff, Grady Judd, told Tampa New Channel 8 that the video is indicative of the true intentions of Florida medical marijuana proponents. “They weren’t in a nursing home … they were with a bunch of kids screaming for the reefer, for the reefer, and that’s what Amendment Two is.”

The Vote No on 2 people have put the video on their Facebook page for all the world to see; as if there was something actually to be seen. They’ve even gone so far as to ask for an apology from Morgan. What they want Morgan to apologize for, besides swearing in a bar and having the gall to be drunk, is unclear at this time.

Undeterred by the criticism, Morgan owned up to his behavior in the video, saying in a statement, “Some of my speeches will be G-rated and some will be X-rated. Some will be humorous and tongue in cheek. While this is not language I use in church, my message is the same one. Very sick people need our help.”

Although the video has been making waves online and in print, there seems to be little actual outrage over the video, aside from the entrenched interests involved with the Vote No on 2 campaign.  Despite Vote No on 2’s best attempts at whipping up a frenzy and sullying John Morgan’s reputation, no one is buying what they’re selling.

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