October is going to be quite the month as early voting will begin all over the country – campaigns are rushing to get their messages out and in Florida, the opposition has already been in attack mode for months. After releasing multiple videos on YouTube which are all filled with lies, misconceptions and twisted words as well as some points that completely ignore what’s written in the proposed amendment. They have gone on to personally attack John Morgan and publish even more lies in direct mail as well.
The campaign is sticking to the story they told in 2014, telling a tale where Amendment 2 is a front for “recreational pot”. They have used a few moments from the 2014 Yes on 2 campaign where John Morgan toured colleges against us – and their “reasons to vote no on 2” make arguments that the amendment has not changed, but almost everything they mention is being twisted to fit their lies.
According to Christina Johnson, a spokeswoman for No on 2, the amendment has not changed at all. She says, “This is really nothing but recreational pot,” she said. “I mean, (it’s) the Florida Medical Association (and) the American Medical Association that are against it.” However, there are physicians who have endorsed medical marijuana – like Sanjay Gupta, who John Morgan specifically mentioned in an e-mail sent out shortly after the full page attack on him was found in mailboxes across the state.
The No on 2 campaign has already purchased 10 days worth of TV air time for the beginning of October, with a price tag of $1 million. The Yes on 2 campaign has been pushing for donations in order to purchase their TV air time now that they have finished filming ads that will be released on multiple media streams in the coming weeks. While United for Care has far outdone No on 2 when it comes to fundraising, they spent most of those funds during the signature collecting portion of their campaign.
The opposition is funded by a very small number of people, donating large sums of money all at once – for example Sheldon Adelson donated $1 million just recently. On the other hand, the Yes on 2 campaign run by United for Care gets many of their donations from individuals and small businesses who can only make a modest donation at best (at least in most cases). By comparison, it will be hard for the Yes on 2 campaign to keep up with things like paid TV ads.
However they are also utilizing less expensive means to get the word out – for example they will have weekly live sessions on Facebook where they discuss Amendment 2 based on questions from the listeners, rebuttal to things like the recent No on 2 mailer “10 Reasons to Vote No on 2”. We need to remain positive and spread the word as well – No on 2 is going as far as to say marijuana is not medicine – and we know just how well that worked out for DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg when he called medical marijuana a joke last fall.
Suffering patients in Florida will finally have relief and safe, legal access to a much needed medicine if we pass Amendment 2 this November. The problem is, the No on 2 campaign is reaching people who are unsure, uneducated on the matter and many of whom have grown up in a world of prohibitionists pushing the same lies that they are using to keep this amendment from passing. If you’re living in Florida, have a conversation with someone who needs to know, tell them about the benefits of medical marijuana – read the amendment and correct anyone who tries to agree with or spread the lies from No on 2 – it’s the only way we’re going to beat them.