Florida’s Medical Marijuana Measure Faces Fierce Opposition From Familiar Foe

Drug Free Florida, which is fighting against Florida’s measure to bring medical marijuana to the state, boasted raising more than $500,000 in two weeks. However, a deeper look into the contributors of that money reveals a significant portion came from one single donor.

Mel Sembler, former Ambassador to Italy and prominent fundraiser in the state donated $500,000 to the fund, while Drug Free Florida raised a total of $510,035. Floridians who advocated for the medical marijuana measure that failed in 2014 will remember Mel Somber as a fierce opponent to the measure – which garnered 58% support, but fell just shy of the 60% needed to become law.

John Morgan, Chairman of United for Care that is backing the Yes on 2 campaign, said in an email that Sembler, “promised to raise $10,000,000 against medical marijuana in the coming months.”

The influx of cash to the No on 2 campaign comes on the heels of the campaign releasing a 30-second ad comparing budtenders to “drug dealers with store fronts.”

Currently, combined polling for the measure in the state shows a 69% support for the measure to pass in 2016. The initiative allows patients with debilitating medical conditions, as determined by a licensed Florida physician, to use medical marijuana. The amendment defines a debilitating condition as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other things.

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