Sheldon Adelson, the Republican casino magnate who often throws his monetary weight around in elections across the US, has almost entirely funded the opposition to Florida’s medical marijuana amendment though a group called “Drug Free Florida”. Out of the 4.7 million raised by the group, Adelson’s donations now account for 4 million of the money the group has reported, according to The Daily Chronic, a publication that focuses on medical and recreational marijuana legalization and the issues that accompany legalization.

Adelson recently put up another $1.5 million to oppose a constitutional amendment that would allow doctors prescribe marijuana for medical purposes in Florida. The donation is an add-on to his previous $2.5 million to the Drug Free Florida campaign opposing the constitutional amendment on the November state ballot.

Adelson is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He spent just shy of 100 million dollars on the 2012 Presidential campaign, primarily putting his efforts toward PACs working to elect Mitt Romney.

Orlando trial attorney John Morgan has bankrolled the pro-amendment campaign out of pocket with $4 million of his own money, and has estimated he will spend $6 million on it by Nov. 4. He also spearheaded the efforts to get the initiative on the ballot — about two-thirds of the money he spent so far as used to gathering over 600,000 voter signatures and then subsequently defending the initiative against challenges in court. Morgan began a four-city bus tour on Monday, set on ediucating young voters about the initiative. Other groups are helping with a GOTV (get out the vote) effort with seniors; they launched a “Silver Tour” for educational purposes in late September.

The Florida Sheriffs Association, which heads a coalition called “Don’t Let Florida Go To Pot,” is also waging an aggressive campaign in the four weeks before election day.

Polls initially showed the amendment running well above the 60% required for approval. Voters will have the final word on if the amendment stays or goes.

[Image Credit: Mideast Posts]

  • Versinel

    I can somewhat see the reason for this if it were purely recreational but for medical reasons I don’t see what this guy sees. Even if it were for both uses the taxes would help the state and it would keep people from trying to get the stuff off the streets. Ugh, Reefer Madness all over again.

    • Briar

      I feel the same way, Versinel. Opposition to recreational use makes sense to me, but to make such a stink over the medicinal use of it really seems crazy. I’d like to know what his reasoning is for going to such lengths to keep sick people from having access to something that can help them.

  • Stevojax

    If you live in Florida make sure you vote!!!!!

    • Yes!!! And anywhere else because guys like this are ready to try and nullify similar laws in other states

  • justphilip

    All that marijuana-hatred coming from a man who makes his living running a casino. The irony, evidently, escapes him!
    But I guess when one has too much money, one gets spoilt for choice.

  • Philli

    It’s so clear this isn’t a democracy that it hurts! If only a few people have the power to spread their political ideas, the playing ground is not fair!