Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Rich Republican Bankrolling Opposition to Florida Marijuana Initiative

Multi-billiionare casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has spent $2.5 million so far to beat Amendment 2 in Florida.

Sheldon Adelson is taking his casino earnings and betting on defeating Amendment 2 in Florida in November. If passed, the ballot initiative would legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

Adelson is one of the Republicans' biggest backers. He owns the Las Vegas Sands casino and other properties. According to Forbes, Adelson is worth $36 billion; he's listed as the ninth richest person in the world.

So far Adelson has donated $4 million to the Drug Free Florida Committee, which opposes Amendment 2. He's also supporting Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign.

Along with Adelson, the Florida Sheriffs Association, St. Petersburg-based Drug Free America and a group calling itself, Don't Let Florida Go to Pot, are all ganging up against the amendment. But Floridians are not buying into the conservative naysayers' scare tactics ("Your child could soon find easier access to marijuana," the latter group's website hysterically warns). The latest polls show as much as 70% support for Amendment 2.

Ironically, Adelson's Medical Research Foundation has funded an Israeli study conducted by Tel Aviv University that concluded cannabis is beneficial for inflammatory diseases such as MS.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.