East Coast Gambler

Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., has donated $1 million to the Drug Free Florida Committee, a political action committee trying to defeat Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative, according to a report from the Associated Press. Two years ago, the billionaire casino mogul donated $5.5 million to Drug Free Florida to defeat a similar amendment.

A constitutional amendment in Florida requires 60 percent of the vote to pass. In 2014 a similar amendment garnered 57.6 percent of the vote.

Adelson is a well-known prohibitionist who regularly makes huge donations to the Republican Party. His second, and current, wife, Miriam Ochshorn, founded a substance abuse center and research clinic at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, her native country.

According to a report from the Chicago Sun Times, Adelson forced the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to drop its pro-cannabis stance after purchasing the paper earlier this year ahead of the state’s recreational-use vote in November.

In July, Mel Sembler, a St. Petersburg real estate developer and Adelson ally, donated $500,000 to the committee.

Florida is one of four states voting on medical cannabis initiatives in the general election. Five others will vote on recreational legalization measures.

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