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DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Offers To Change Stance On Marijuana

Debbie Wasserman Schultz marijuana

(image via wikipedia)

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida US representative, has long been a thorn in the side of the marijuana law reform movement. While more and more Democrats have joined the movement to enact sensible cannabis laws, Ms. Schultz has remained an opponent, siding with Republican backers such as billionaire Sheldon Adelson who dumped millions into Florida to defeat last year’s medical marijuana measure.

A vast majority of Democrats across the country understand that the War on Marijuana has unfairly hurt people of color and of low income, two constituencies that the Democratic Party have traditionally understood as their base supporters. Not only does reforming marijuana laws show compassion for poor minorities disproportionately targeted for draconian punishments, but also sick and disabled patients battling severe and debilitating medical conditions. Further, in cold, hard political calculations, Democratic political operatives have concluded that marijuana measures bring out young voters more likely to support Democratic candidates. The Democratic Party of Oregon endorsed the state’s Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative last election and Oregon became the only state to see Democratic majorities in the state legislature increase as legalization was supported by just over 56% of all Oregon voters and CNN exit polling found that 77% Oregon Democrats supported Measure 91.

The DNC Chair seems to be going against the tide of her party and the nation, but was alledelly willing to change positions if prominent Florida attorney and medical marijuana supporter John Morgan took back statements he made against her. Morgan’s support could be key if Ms. Schultz decides to run for a US Senate Seat in Florida. Per Politico:

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a major Florida donor recanted his withering criticism of her, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.

The proposal to Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan was straightforward: retract critical statements he made to a reporter in return for Wasserman Schultz publicly backing his cannabis initiative that she had trashed just months earlier. Morgan declined the offer with a sharp email reply sent to a go-between, who described the congresswoman as being in a “tizzy.”

“No,” Morgan responded. “She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living.”

The DNC Chair has since fired back, refuting Morgan’s claim. From the Sun Sentinel:

Wasserman Schultz called the allegation “outrageous” and said the purported deal, reported by Politico is false.

“I wouldn’t change my position in exchange for support under any circumstances – ever. I stand on principle. I’m always very proud to stand in front of my constituents and explain when I have a difference of opinion with them,” she told the Sun Sentinel.

Her accuser, the prominent Orlando-based trial lawyer John Morgan, responded in a statement Friday afternoon that Wasserman Schultz’s suggestion of a quid pro quo was “crystal clear.”

It appears that Ms. Wasserman Schultz will be damaged among Florida Democrats regardless of how this dispute plays out. While the Florida medical marijuana measure didn’t garner the 60% needed for passage, 58% of Florida voters did support the legalization of medical cannabis. It would behoove the Florida representative to both educate herself on the science of medical cannabis, maybe catch a Dr. Sanjay Gupta special, and talk to some patients that are suffering through chemotherapy or from glaucoma. Wasserman Schultz should then “evolve” on the issue and support a new medical marijuana policy that contains a few revisions from last year’s ballot measure. While she has been a formidable politician and fund raiser, she will only be able to go against the will of the voters for so long. Changing her stance on medical cannabis will be both a compassionate and politically pragmatic decision that is long overdue.

Source: MarijuanaPolitics.Com – syndicated with special permission


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Pandering whore. Despite the move to the right stance regarding reform, she has no business being in office.

  2. A democrat that hops in bed with the bible thumping republican whores to big business just so she can get her bread buttered.

  3. In one short word, I’ll answer your question. YES!

    For her everything IS a political calculation. She’s a PERFECT example of everything that’s WRONG with our system! They’re ALL like that! They have convictions that stand solidly with campaign donors.

  4. Her years of blatant arrogance and slamming any worthwhile idea that either wasn’t hers or one that she couldn’t somehow claim have finally come home to roost.

  5. She has contributed to the most destructive policy since slavery she is on the wrong side of history in spite of her mea colpa

  6. I don’t know what’s worse: being a true believer in prohibition and an ideological drug war zealot (Michelle Leonhart), but actually having some true convictions, or being a political opportunist who is willing to change her stance on the issue not by considering the facts and reaching a different conclusion, but by using it as a bargaining chip. Is everything a political calculation with her?

  7. All politicians lie. We have here a perfect example:

    “I wouldn’t change my position in exchange for support under any circumstances.”

    As my grandpappy always used to say, “They are all crooks.”

  8. I hope that’s exactly how it plays out….I love that Morgan outed her quid pro quo and shot her down. It’s What she deserves for choosing to be ignorant about Cannabis and staying in her bubble.

  9. This is for every politician out there prohibition does not work. Arresting people for Marijuana is unjustified. If you want our votes action speaks more than words.

  10. I appreciate her concessions, however, nothing short of legislating 80-year-overdue, criminal prosecutions, of canvas prohibitionists, will ultimately suffice.

  11. I commend Mr. Morgan’s overall excellence and admirable strength – especially in dealing with Debbie WS. Canvas prohibition, forced, with the pejorative, “marihuana,” should have been corrected, by September of 1937… “Hemp For Victory!”

  12. thom bombastus on









    thom bombastus

  13. Legalize freedom on

    its a war against people, and nothing can justify that, it is not a war against drugs, it is a war against productive good people and their families, for being of a different culture.it is a war against religion as well, my religion involves cannabis use and then some, the enemy is not me, but the nation and its great greed and evil and intolerance and lack of any single iota of human virtue, despicable!

  14. These idiots will keep voting her in. Corrine Brown BIll nelson they list goes on. incumbents need to be voted out

  15. what a piece of shit. will say and do anything to move up, please don’t vote for her anymore you retards.

  16. The sun has set on DWS’s career. At this point, her office has three choices. One option is to stick with her status-quo “position” to maintain the farce that her opinions aren’t for sale — she’ll risk her Senate bid and maybe even her House seat, should a pro-cannabis candidate run against her. Her second option is to switch positions (for free), support cannabis law reform, and risk the potential humiliation that will come from being force-fed a large helping of crow by John Morgan. Her third option is to “no comment” until this dies down, at which point she’ll announce she isn’t seeking re-election in 2016. If she tries to “no comment” through this and then runs in 2016 (for either the House or Senate), she’ll get blown out of the water for going against 58% of the voters who turned out for the midterm.

    Mr. Morgan absolutely has the right idea: shoot down her deal, shine a light on it, and watch her and her political aspirations go up in smoke. This latest three-ring circus (IMHO) warrants the DNC shopping for a new chair before the 2016 election cycle begins. Otherwise, Democrats are going to have a bad time. I’m getting increasingly convinced 2016 will be an election of social issues: marriage equality and the drug war. The polling is there.

    Honestly, that’s probably WHY she offered to make a deal for the retraction. She’s seen the polls. She knows that Democrats, nationally (and her, personally) will see a serious upset in 2016 if the GOP nominates Rand Paul for the Presidency and puts the drug war center-ring for the 2016 cycle. He’ll steal away every moderate voter who doesn’t care about his history with the word “personhood.” Other GOP candidates will see daylight with this strategy as well (especially DWS’s potential opponent) and adopt this winning strategy. The Democrats will be trounced in every battleground state in the Union, including Florida.

    I can see it now: Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer will pass by Debbie’s office in mid-November 2016 (as she’s packing her things, no doubt) — they’ll hold up a newspaper with the election results, say “Told ya so,” and then dramatically walk away. I imagine her regret would be palpable.

  17. Divided they fall… goddamn it! Get with the program Debbie otherwise you won’t be around to whine about legal weed.

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