Anti-marijuana political mogul Mel Sembler has announced plans to raise $10 million in order to block this year’s voter initiative to legalize medical cannabis in the Sunshine State.
Sembler said in an interview with The Tampa Bay Times that the business boom from legal cannabis is only another hurdle. “It’s always a challenge, particularly when there’s a major profit on the other side and there’s no profit on our side.”
Sembler is, along with his wife, a founding member of the Drug Free America Foundation. In 2014, the pair helped raise the $7.5 million used to defeat that year’s medical marijuana ballot initiative.
“We’re trying to save lives and people’s brains,” Sembler said. “It’s not a medicine.”
Because there is a presidential election this year, however, experts predict a larger turnout of younger and Democrat voters, both of which will play to the advantage of marijuana reform. Recent polls have indicated that more than 60 percent of Florida voters are in favor; 60 percent is the threshold for success in a Florida ballot initiative.
United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara said in a statement:
“Mel Sembler can spend whatever he wants to try and deny sick and suffering Floridians relief in the form of medical marijuana, but the will of the people is stronger than his money. United for Care will wage a statewide campaign to counter Sembler’s dishonest attacks and medical marijuana will pass in November.”
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