During the 2014 Election, wealthy marijuana opponent Sheldon Adelson donated millions of dollars to defeat a Florida medical marijuana initiative. The initiative needed 60% of the vote in order to pass, but it came up roughly 2% short. Polling for the initiative had been strong up until a handful of weeks prior to election day. Sheldon Adelson’s money bought a lot of negative advertising, helped spread a lot of reefer madness, and definitely contributed significantly to the loss in Florida in 2014.
During the 2016 election cycle, Sheldon Adelson stepped back while others made sizable donations. Mr. Adelson’s friend, real estate mogul Mel Sembler, made multiple donations that added up to a hefty sum . The Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust, which is the largest stakeholder in a huge chain of drug stores, donated the better side of a million dollars to the anti-medical marijuana effort. Sheldon Adelson appears to have waited as long as he liked, as it appears that he just donated a million dollars to Drug Free Florida which is leading the charge to oppose the medical marijuana initiative. Per the Saint Peters Blog:
Drug Free Florida saw a big fundraising period, raising more than $1 million in one week.
State records show the organization raised more than $1.02 million between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9, the most recent fundraising period. That sum includes a $1 million contribution from Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate and opponent of the medical marijuana ballot initiative.
Adelson was a major backer of the opposition campaign in 2014. Records show he gave $5.5 million to Drug Free Florida in 2014. According to the Washington Post, Adelson, the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, was responsible for 85 percent of the money raised by Drug Free Florida.
It’s doesn’t involve rocket science in order to figure out what the money is going to go to. Similar to 2014, I expect a big anti-medical marijuana push in Florida media outlets, paid for by Sheldon Adelson. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see him drop down more money, or other opponents. Polling in Florida has been very strong for this year’s initiative, and opponents are desperate. Florida would be a huge domino in the fight to bring safe access to suffering Americans. If you would like to donate to the PRO Florida medical marijuana campaign, you can do so at this link here.
image via Politico.com