With recreational marijuana advocates working to get two separate initiatives on the November 2020 ballot, opponents have formed a political committee focused on defeating the legalization efforts.
Organizers of Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, or FARM, issued a news release Friday announcing the formation of the political committee, aimed at combating “the mega-marijuana, out-of-state corporate interests” behind legalization.
Prominent Republican political consultant Pat Bainter, owner of the firm Data Targeting, is associated with the effort to defeat the pot proposals, according to the release.
“Our coalition has come together to defeat this dangerous ballot initiative,” said Brian Swensen, who will manage the anti-recreational marijuana campaign.
The committee is comprised of “a coalition of citizens, businesses, anti-drug advocates, patients — such as veterans seeking affordable health care — and medical community professionals,” according to the release.
The opposition comes as backers of two competing measures continue to collect money and petition signatures in attempts to gain the support necessary to make it onto the 2020 ballot.
The political committee Make It Legal Florida is seeking to pass a constitutional amendment that would allow adults 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”
The committee has the backing of companies linked to two of Florida’s licensed medical marijuana operators. According to the state Division of Elections website, Make It Legal Florida had submitted 108,345 petition signatures as of Friday afternoon, easily topping a 76,632-signature threshold to trigger Florida Supreme Court review of the proposed ballot wording.
It would need to submit 766,200 signatures by a February deadline to get on next year’s ballot.
The other legalization measure, which would require the state to regulate marijuana in the same manner as alcohol, is backed by the committee Sensible Florida. The committee had submitted 92,438 valid signatures as of Friday and also is awaiting Supreme Court scrutiny of the proposed ballot wording.
Make It Legal Florida has quickly outdistanced Sensible Florida in raising money, according to finance reports.
As of Oct. 31, Sensible Florida had collected about $205,000 in cash and about $245,000 in in-kind contributions and spent just under $160,000 since the committee was formed four years ago.
Make It Legal Florida, launched in August, has brought in more than $2.7 million in cash and $114,500 in in-kind contributions, and spent more than $2.6 million, the finance reports show.
MM Enterprises USA, LLC, a company linked to Florida medical marijuana operator Med Men, has contributed nearly $1.2 million to the effort, while Surterra Holdings, Inc., which is linked to operator Parallel, has put more than $1.6 million into the committee, according to the reports.
The Miami Herald reports that a recent University of North Florida poll shows that 64% of registered voters support adult-use marijuana. Of the 666 voters polled, 44% said they “strongly support” recreational marijuana and 20% “somewhat support” it. Just 9% somewhat oppose and 24% strongly oppose.
–News Service of Florida
Waste of your time and money. If this was ever on the ballot would be passed by a wide margin. Just a matter of time. Florida is so backward about so many progressive issues. Welcome to the 21st Century, things are going to be different.
Our children need it. Please make marijuana accessible to the poor. Stop giving us pills.
Make it legal big corps just want they there interest and payoffs and states make millions arresting people for this stuff but real criminals are set free alcohol and cigs kill more people then ever but it’s ok cause they make billions
Trailer Bob says
“Political committee Make It Legal Florida”? SSo their acronyme would be MILF?
A Concerned Observer says
Yes, I guess it would. FYI “PETA” when first registered went to “People Eating Tasty Animals”,but “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” won it back after filing a lawsuit. LMAO
Trailer Bob says
I only wish these people would find some other noble cause other than this. Marijuana criminalization has been the biggest disaster in our country’s war on drugs. Marijuana is far more harmless (for consenting adults) than alcohol and the south is so far behind the rest of the country in our attitude regarding the legalization of marijuana.
Let’s sit down and smoke a bowl and discuss it calmly- it is way easier than drinking a six pack and remaining civil.
CB from PC says
Legalizing marijuana is one more brain capacity reduction substance which will lead to more traffic accidents.
As it is, plenty of bad drivers here.
Florida has enough problems.
A better cause would be get employment law and wages on par with the rest of the country.
People drive like idiots because they are uptight, disrespectful, self centered and have a very high level of rudeness than ever before , its been normalized. I do not condone driving while blown out but will have little or no effect. One of the more disturbing problems is the seemingly inability to live in reality.
What facts/data do you have to confirm your belief that cannabis causes traffic crashes CB? I worked in crash investigation for over 30 years and NEVER saw one crash where cannabis was the SOLE cause of the crash. Furthermore, cannabis has never caused death due to overdose; no not even one.
Bud W. Eiser says
Go ahead an legalize it. That way we can get half the population “stoned” and get their votes for all the socialist agenda’s. ( SARC )
Timothy Leary's Dead says
I’m don’t smoke weed (don’t smoke anything actually) but I couldn’t care less if it’s legalized. Just don’t drive high. Oh, and I’m not a big fan of the smell either, but, hey, you do you (but please keep the smell to yourself, thanks)
Fine BUT then have it sold like liquor stores with all the red tape they must go through to sell it.
Rick G says
“Our coalition has come together to defeat this dangerous ballot initiative,” Dangerous??? Has anybody checked into states like Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado or Nevada to name a few that have legalized recreational marijuana? No big problems there. There may be issues but are easily addressed. The concerns raised by the anti marijuana organizations are even worse for alcohol but I don’t hear any organizing against that drug.
Trailer Bob says
“The Miami Herald reports that a recent University of North Florida poll shows that 64% of registered voters support adult-use marijuana. Of the 666 voters polled, 44% said they “strongly support” recreational marijuana and 20% “somewhat support” it. Just 9% somewhat oppose and 24% strongly oppose.”
OK, so what happened to majority rule? And for those who bring up driving while high…people who are going to smoke and drive will do it anyway, regardless of the law. They are already doing it. That tired old rant is the same as with gun control. I it were passed that I had to give up some of my weapons, I hesitantly would, but criminals would not. What part of that do some of you not understand? Anyone who wishes to smoke pot, though it is not legal, is already doing it. Nothing would change as the article argues… except that those who smoke weed would not have to worry about being labeled as a criminal. It would also pay some respect to the many seniors who live here and have been using pot since the 60’s. Concentrate on Crack, heroin, and meth and you can make a huge difference in the lives of many people in our county.