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Sheldon Adelson gives $1M to Drug Free Florida

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Drug Free Florida saw a big fundraising period, raising more than $1 million in one week.

State records show the organization raised more than $1.02 million between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9, the most recent fundraising period. That sum includes a $1 million contribution from Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate and opponent of the medical marijuana ballot initiative.

Adelson was a major backer of the opposition campaign in 2014. Records show he gave $5.5 million to Drug Free Florida in 2014. According to the Washington Post, Adelson, the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, was responsible for 85 percent of the money raised by Drug Free Florida.

The committee ran a successful campaign against the 2014 medical marijuana amendment. That proposal received 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent needed to become law.

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

Recent polling found 70 percent of likely Florida voters said they support the 2016 ballot initiative.

People United for Medical Marijuana, the group behind the United for Care campaign, raised $9,231 during the fundraising period. On Friday afternoon, the committee sent an email to supporters asking them to donate.

“We can’t allow this to go unanswered,” the fundraising email reads. “We must raise money to stay as close as we can.”

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