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Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust gives $800K to Drug Free Florida

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Drug-Free Florida saw another big fundraising period, raising more than $800,000 in about a week.

State records show the organization raised $805,000 between July 9 and July 15, the most recent fundraising period. That sum includes a single $800,000 donation from the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust and brings its total fundraising haul to more than $8.1 million

Carol Jenkins Barnett is the daughter of George Jenkins, the founder of Publix Super Markets. She is a longtime supporter of programs benefiting children, and, according to Forbes, has served as chair and president of the Publix Super Market Charities, which donates millions each to nonprofit organizations that support education and the homeless.

Records show the family trust gave $540,000 in 2014 to Drug-Free Florida. The group ran a successful campaign against the 2014 medical marijuana ballot initiative and is ramping up its efforts ahead of the 2016 election.

The committee also received a $5,000 contribution from Neal Communities of Southwest Florida in the most recent fundraising period.

The committee spent $31,517 between July 9 and July 15.

Drug-Free Florida has raised more than $1.8 million since January. The vast majority of that sum comes from two sources — the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust and prominent St. Petersburg fundraiser Mel Sembler, who, since May, has given $1 million to the effort.

Drug-Free Florida ended the fundraising period with more than $1.6 million cash on hand.

The opposition campaign outraised and outspent the group backing the 2016 ballot initiative during the one-week fundraising period.

Records show People United for Medical Marijuana raised $6,567 between July 9 and July 15, bringing its total fundraising haul to nearly $9.7 million. The group spent $53,343 between July 8 and July 15.

The 2016 ballot initiative allows individuals with debilitating medical conditions, as determined by a licensed Florida physician, to use medical marijuana. The amendment defines a debilitating condition like cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other things.

A survey released Monday found 77 percent of likely Florida voters supported the amendment.

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