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Politics

Sheldon Adelson Dumps $1 Million into Anti-Medical Marijuana Campaign

September 16, 2016 - 5:30pm
Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson

Billionaire casino founder Sheldon Adelson has given another $1 million to the campaign against medical marijuana in Florida, recent records from the Florida Divisions of Elections show. 

Adelson gave $1 million to the Drug Free Florida committee between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9.

Drug Free Florida/Vote No on 2 is the campaign actively working against Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment which would legalize medical marijuana for Floridians with “debilitating” medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and glaucoma. 

Adelson, a kingpin Republican fundraiser, has been a strong supporter of the anti-medical marijuana campaign. He contributed a colossal amount of money -- to the tune of $5.5 million -- to the Drug Free Florida committee in 2014 when it waged war against the medical marijuana amendment the first time it came to Florida ballots.

The first time medical marijuana hit ballots in Florida, it was not successful. Medical marijuana  fell short of the necessary 60 percent to pass, only receiving 58 percent of the vote. 

This year, the bulk of the money from Drug Free Florida has come from large contributors like Adelson. Other backers have included Mel Sembler, Publix heiress Carol Jenkins and Al Hoffman, Jr.

The group supporting Amendment 2, People United For Medical Marijuana, has raised over $10,000 during the month of September, with the largest donation coming from Chris Driessen, president of Organa Brands/Open Vape in Colorado. The remaining money came primarily from small donations.

Only licensed physicians would be able to prescribe the drug to needy patients, and would need to determine whether using medical marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

Medical marijuana has already hit the scene in Florida, where lawmakers passed the first legalization of medical marijuana two years ago.

Legislators green-lighted a low-dose of the drug called “Charlotte’s Web” for patients with epilepsy. Dispensaries started providing the drug to Floridians this summer and have since expanded their operations statewide. 

Polling suggests medical marijuana is in a good position to pass in November. Many surveys have shown strong support for the constitutional amendment. A survey released earlier this month from Democrat-aligned Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed 70 percent of likely voters support Amendment 2 while only 23 percent said they oppose the measure. Democrats typically tend to favor passing the amendment more than Republicans, but more than half of Republicans said they were in favor of medical marijuana. 

Even state lawmakers have hopped on to support Amendment 2. Last week, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, said he was in support of legalizing medical marijuana. 

United For Care sent a message to its supporters late Friday afternoon, urging them to answer the fundraising call to help pass the amendment in November. 

“We can't allow this to go unanswered,” said United For Care spokesperson Ben Pollara. “ We must raise money to stay as close as we can.”

The general election will be held Nov. 8. 

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen

 


 

Comments

In January 2016, I started having pains in my abdomen I just assumed it was nerves left over. I saw my doctor and finally h suggested I get a c-scan. I did that and they thought it was a cyst on my ovary. I set up an appointment with a surgeon and made a date for me to get it taken care off. My A125 was at 350 at that point. The surgeon told me I had stage 4 ovarian cancer and I less than a year to live if I did nothing. As I lay in my hospital bed thinking about being dead in some months, my mind went blank. It took me three days to accept the facts and three seconds to know I could do nothing about it but God could. My family doctor called me and reveal a secret about using cannabis oil alternative and that i could live again with cannabis oil medication for treatment and that moment my heart lifted for joy. I went ahead to do research on the cannabis oil and I found a lot of hopeful information and how many patients have cured various kinds of cancer with cannabis oil. I wrote to Cancer Centre London through email londoncancercentre@gmail.com and I was provided information on how to get the cannabis oil for treatment. I got the cannabis oil and I started taking it as directed. Now my ovarian cancer has been cured and I am a member for support cannabis campaign.

Mr. Addelson seems addled. No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous, like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” --John Ehrlichman Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too. In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as "the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving", which "is arguably a positive thing". Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party ten days ago. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. A recent Federal study has reached the same conclusion. And legalization should improve those numbers further. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It's the most benign 'substance' in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana--use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol. Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA. Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one's arm. 'The works of Man are flawed.' Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy. The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan. Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors. I am appalled at the number of 'Christian' politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

One of the things I question is we encourage people to stop smoking cigarettes yet the same people want you to smoke a drug. Pot smoke has many of the same dangerous chemicals that cigarettes have! I guess because pot alters your mental state people think it's safe!

Are you serious????? If you have links to research that proves this please post.

Ok Robert, let me answer your question. Seems you got your information from the propagandists. Tobacco smoke...Cannabis smoke. 2 completely different things. Where tobacco deposits "tars" the body can't absorb, cannabis can. As to chemicals? Completely false. Those harmful chemicals are not in cannabis smoke. A study out of the UK bout a year ago showed joint a day smokers had no, none, nada, lung impairment. Just the opposite. They tended to have larger lung capacity and better function. Now, why smoke? It is the fastest, safest way to medicate. Hard to overuse. Easier to control dosage. Although, vaping seems to be slowly replacing smoking. And it is even safer. There are 10,000 years of verified cannabis use. It appears in the medical documents of most major civilizations. With that much history and millions of users alive today, the harms claimed by propagandists should be, but are not, visible for all to see. Cannabis is a safer alternative to modern opiates. It is less addictive than coffee. In fact, our bodies have an endocannabiniod system that easily use cannabis to aid the body in many ways.

So the gambling tychoon who makes his money off of folks addictions, chooses again to support republican anti-cannabis efforts. Why? He wants a resort casino in S. Florida. This is the same guy who has investments in Medical Cannabis in Israel. He is ok with it there, but against it here? Hypocrite! Compassion requires a YES on 2... ForThePatients

Another wealthy incompetent idiot, he made millions off of people that were using drugs in his casinos! Seriously ill people that can benefit from medicinal marijuana are suffering due to the ignorance of people like him and the ones who are spending millions to help destroy peoples lives, yet they are profiting off of people who abuse drugs...unbelievable!

Gambling is addictve and many modern machines are designed to act on the brain's pleasure centers just like narcotics.

Another wealthy incompetent idiot, he made millions off of people that were using drugs in his casinos! Seriously ill people that can benefit from medicinal marijuana are suffering due to the ignorance of people like him and the ones who are spending millions to help destroy peoples lives, yet they are profiting off of people who abuse drugs...unbelievable!

SHELDON ADELSON MADE ALL OF HIS MONEY FROM LOSERS IN HIS CASINOS, FROM LAS VEGAS TO RENO TO MACAU CHINA AND SINGAPORE. IN OTHER WORDS THAT IS STEALING FROM THOSE THAT LET HIM STEAL. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY HE WOULD WANT TO PROHIBIT PEOPLE FROM USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA, IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER THAT ONE FOR ME?

He has been putting money into whatever republian lawmakers ask him to in order to buy a resort casino in S FL. He hs put millions into several PACs and pet causes for republican lawmakers. They keep stringing him along.

First, Dlirida has already passed a medical marijuana bill, and expanded it Second, it is absurdity in the extreme to make "medical marijuana" a constitutional amendment issue. I know they say people in Florida like their controlled substances but really, let's stop the silliness somewhere.

First. What lawmakers have done is not enough. Second. What they have given, they can too easily take away. Yes on 2. ForThePatients!

"Billionaire casino founder" how many lives has he shattered?

SHELDON ADELSON MADE ALL OF HIS MONEY FROM LOSERS IN HIS CASINOS, FROM LAS VEGAS TO RENO TO MACAU CHINA AND SINGAPORE. IN OTHER WORDS THAT IS STEALING FROM THOSE THAT LET HIM STEAL. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY HE WOULD WANT TO PROHIBIT PEOPLE FROM USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA, IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER THAT ONE FOR ME?

First of all, charging people to gamble , who are adults and have free will, is not stealing. Second, stop yelling, it does not make people believe you any more just because you yell.

Sheldon needs to change his meds.

Let's make FL a dry state (i.e. no alcohol) if medical marijuana doesn't pass. They're both drugs in my eyes. I have seen more homes, families, lives destroyed as well as more deaths cause by booze than I have pot.

Now wait just a minute, little lady. Take away some drugs, take away books, take away some education but NEVER take away Adelson's booze!! GO TRUMP!!

Adelson "Trumps" Morgan ! Vote "NO" on Amendment Two ! It's the "unintended consequences" that we must be wary of... or Florida might turn into "out of control" Colorado...

VOTE 'YEA' on Amendment 2! It's the humane way to treat another human being in pain. People who make silly statements like the one above only prove they know very little about the issue! GO TRUMP!!

Agree with everything you said except GO TRUMP fuck Clinton and Trump. Vote YES on Amendment 2 and don't be an uncompassionate person like the guy above.

Agree with everything you said except GO TRUMP fuck Clinton and Trump. Vote YES on Amendment 2 and don't be an uncompassionate person like the guy above.

Once again proving what a true A-Hole he is! Perhaps if a family member of his needed it he'd bark a different tone! GO TRUMP!!

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