The fight over medical marijuana has raked in big money from both supporters and opponents of the constitutional amendment, but far more donations have come from the campaign fighting for medical marijuana in Florida than those fighting against it.
Donations towards the Yes on 2 campaign outnumbered donations from Drug Free Florida by nearly 650 to one, with Yes on 2 receiving over 7,000 donations to Drug Free Floridas 11 donations.
This isn’t the first time Florida has seen a constitutional amendment to legalize medical pot. Voters last cast their ballots on the amendment in 2014, when it missed the necessary 60 percent to pass by only two points.
Yet despite having more people contribute to the campaign, People United for Medical Marijuana (United For Care) has actually raised less cash than the No on 2 campaign.
Many donating to United For Care donated smaller amounts of money, with many donations ranging from the $5-$50 range.
Last year, more than $3 million flowed into United For Care, a majority of the cash coming from the petition-gathering initiative to get enough signatures to get the measure back on the ballot in November. Fundraising has slowed down significantly in recent months.
In July, United For Care raised nearly $83,000, according to campaign finance reports. The group had less than $500,000 cash on hand just last month.
No on 2 walloped United For Care in the fundraising game last month, raising a colossal $1.3 million from just two donations.
The largest donation came from the heiress of Floridas favorite grocery store, Publix, who dumped $800,000 into the campaign. Republican fundraising kingpin Mel Sembler, who has already contributed a significant chunk of cash into Drug Free Florida.
In May, Sembler donated $500,000 to the campaign to fight Amendment 2 and in July, he threw another $500,000 into No on 2, bringing his grand donation total to $1 million in just two months.
The amendment would allow for the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or caregiver. It would also prohibit physicians from being subject to criminal or civil liabilities under Florida law for issuing a prescription for medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana would only be allowed for use for those with debilitating medical conditions which would include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and for other conditions which a physician feels using medical marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.
That means the average Joe wouldnt be able to go into a pharmacy and get a prescription unless it was approved by their doctor.
Recent polls have suggested medical marijuana has a strong likelihood of passing in November, with the majority of Floridians supporting legalizing the drug medicinally.
The Drug Free Florida Committee has around $1.8 million cash on hand as of this articles publishing.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Campaign For Medical Marijuana Trumps No On 2 Donations Nearly 700 To One
Author: Allison Nielsen
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Website: Sunshine State News