Florida anti-medical marijuana effort vows to raise $10M

A Florida campaign with ties to casino mogul Sheldon Adelson – who helped defeat a 2014 medical cannabis initiative in the Sunshine State – plans to raise at least $10 million to fight MMJ legalization this fall, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Florida real estate executive Mel Semble is spearheading this year’s drive to kill a legalization ballot initiative. Sembler, founder of Drug Free America, helped raise roughly $7.5 million to oppose the 2014 measure, roughly $5 million of which came from Adelson.

Orlando attorney John Morgan leads the effort to legalize MMJ. Morgan told supporters via email Monday: “I’ve got a message for Mel Sembler. BRING. IT. ON. No amount of money and lies are going to stop us from winning this time.”

The 2014 legalization push fell just short of the 60% needed to pass. Under Florida law, a ballot initiative needs a supermajority to become law. Morgan and United for Care attribute much of the failure to misleading advertising, paid for by Adelson and Drug Free America.

The latest polling data suggest support for legalization exceeds the 60% threshold. A Public Policy Polling survey last month found that 65% of Florida voters support the initiative, which has already qualified for the ballot.