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Opposites Attract: Roger Stone, John Morgan Team Up in Cannabis Coalition

August 18, 2017
Roger Stone attends Politicon at The Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Colin Young-Wolff/AP)
Two months ago Roger Stone, the longtime political advisor to President Trump, revealed that he was forming a new bipartisan coalition to defend state marijuana legalization laws. Earlier this week Stone, along with prominent Florida attorney John Morgan, offered more complete details about the makeup of that group, the United States Cannabis Coalition.

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The USCC was created by the two men basically on the complete opposite side of politics from one another, to persuade federal decision makers—including the president—to support each states’ right to create its own cannabis laws.

Courtesy of the United States Cannabis Coalition.

Both Morgan and Stone have been longtime advocates for cannabis legalization. Morgan, who founded one of the country’s largest personal injury law firms, was largely responsible for bringing medical marijuana to Florida. Stone has been advocating for legalization throughout his political career.

The main goal of the group, according to its press release, is to urge President Trump to honor the pledge that he made several times during the 2016 campaign, that he would support each states’ authority to legalize the possession and sales of cannabis.

“I am highly confident that Donald Trump will protect the access of millions of Americans including our veterans who are currently using cannabis for medicinal purposes” said Stone, who has been a formal and informal advisor to Trump for more than 40 years. “I am confident the President will keep his pledge.”

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According to the group, the coalition will also urge the President to change the classification of cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug.

“All Americans can and should come together to stop the war on marijuana. It can no longer be a Schedule 1 narcotic. Pain, disease, and mental illness don’t pick political parties – just people. This is the perfect issue for ‘strange bedfellows’ to come together on and WIN,” said Morgan.

There are people from all political parties in the coalition: Democrats and Republicans, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and progressives.

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Derrick Kitts, the former producer of NBC’s Morning Joe news show will serve as the Senior Consultant to the coalition, while the Executive Director will be Ryan Criscuolol of Denver.

In the coalition’s press release, Stone noted that Sessions had written Congress requesting authority to wage a crackdown on medicinal cannabis, while others in the White House have murmured that a crackdown could be coming.

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“Attorney General Eric Holder’s directive on the subject chose to respect states’ rights.  Unbelievably, now Sessions and Kelly, egged on by the likes of Governor Chris Christie and the new FBI Director, want to void the Holder directive, revive the war on drugs, and prosecute those who are making legal medicinal marijuana available even though their boss has indicated that he doesn’t share their draconian views on the subject,” Morgan said in a statement.

The following members will also be joining Stone and Morgan on the USCC advisory board:

  • Fox News Legal Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano
  • WBAI radio commentator and Democratic US Senate candidate Randy Credico
  • Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
  • Omar Navarro, Republican Candidate for Congress 43rd District – CA
  • Norm Kent, Chairman of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
  • Congressman Matt Gaetz R- FL
  • NY State Senator Diane Savino (D-Bronx)
  • Christian Josi, Former Executive Director of the American Conservative Union
  • Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Chairman of the Staten Island Republican Committee
  • Jeff Doctor, Director of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition
  • Jim Gray, former California Superior Court Judge and 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President
  • Elizabeth Everett, of Texans for Trump
  • Deroy Murdock, a longtime columnist and activist
  • Pastor Mark Burns, of Easley, SC
  • CATO Institute Scholar Doug Bandow
  • Missouri State Rep. Shamed Dogan
  • Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels Founder and Chairman of The New York State Reform Party
  • Gary Wiegert of the St. Louis Police Department
  • Arizona State Rep. Ethan Orr (R-Tucson)

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Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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  • Thomas Blank

    it needs to go from schedule 1 to schedule 3, NOT schedule 2. Schedule 2 would not permit use from the plant or plant extracts, only sunthetics like marinol, its a big money handoff to pharma.

  • familyguy

    This industry needs all the help it can get. Cannabis is enjoying an over 60 percent approval from Americans republican and democrat. It is time we come together to pass sensible legislation and start mending some bridges between folks in both parties. I hope everyone welcomes Roger Stone. This is not the time to be forming opinions or starting rumors on a person that want to help and that may have the ability to help. I’m a minority and think we all need to work together. Removing cannabis from the controlled substance list should be the target, with states determining what is best for the people in their state.

    • Well said, and I totally agree with you. Although it would be challenging to get Congress and the DEA to support totally removing it from the CSL, although, they may be able to sway votes in their favor if there’s a bipartisan agreement that it should be removed. Even if they knocked it down to a schedule 2 or 3, that would be big step in the right direction that would help millions of people and patient have access for use and research on a wide scale. I know I’m sending a lot of good thoughts and energy their way – they definitely need it more now than ever.

  • This is BIG, people, and unprecedented in the recent history of high-profile advocates for cannabis. Look at the long list who’ll be joining in on the cannabis coalition; quite impressive!