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

Published on August 18, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Roger Stone attends Politicon at The Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/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.

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.”

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.

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
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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