Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz refuted on Friday allegations that she offered to reverse her position on medical marijuana if a top political donor would withdraw his criticism.
"I wouldn't change my position in exchange for support under any circumstances – ever," she said told the Sun-Sentinel. "I stand on principle."
Politico reported on Thursday that it had obtained emails showing the Florida Democrat was willing to back medical marijuana to achieve détente with John Morgan, a major political donor in the state and champion of medical cannabis.
The Politico story was based on an email exchange between two medical marijuana proponents — Morgan and Ben Pollara, the head of the state's campaign to change the law.
According to Politico, Pollera told the donor that Wasserman Schultz was ready to horse trade her support for his public backing.
Morgan says he declined her offer.
“No,” Morgan responded, according to Politico. “She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living.”
Wasserman Schultz fiercely rejected the allegation on Friday, calling it "outrageous." She said she reached out to Pollera to discuss the issue, not to bargain for support.
She said the proposal last year was not restrictive enough, but that she would back a measure with tighter regulations on who could access medical weed.
"I've seen the language that they've proposed for the 2016 ballot," Wasserman Schultz said. "I was more comfortable with the way the language was going."
Florida's medical marijuana initiative went before voters in November, but failed to pass by a narrow margin.
Nine former DEA chiefs band together against marijuana
They marshalled the drug war for decades. Now, they want to keep it going against marijuana.
Nine former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) filed an amicus brief on Thursday asking the Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit against Colorado's marijuana legalization law — and then strike it down.
The state's legal weed program goes against “a uniform and coherent national drug policy," according to the DEA chiefs. The legal brief was filed in support of a lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma, which claims legal marijuana is crossing state borders.
Another two lawsuits were filed in Colorado state court on Thursday, both with the aim of shuttering the state's marijuana industry.
Marijuana charges dropped against 71-year-old cancer patient
The federal government dropped charges against a 71-year-old man with stage four pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, The Huffington Post reported.
Washington State resident Larry Harvey had been caught growing marijuana on his property in 2012, after two separate raids by state and federal agents. He was charged by federal authorities, but not by those in Washington.
Harvey contended the plants were for medical use. Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington since 1998, but it remains illegal under federal law.
Harvey's wife, son, daughter-in-law and a family friend were all charged alongside him, and will still face federal prosecution, according to HuffPost.
The group were known among activists as the "Kettle Falls Five." Fusion's Chief Cannabis Correspondent Ryan Nerz looked at the case last year.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.