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Florida Dems give medical marijuana proponents fundraising boost

The committee backing the medical marijuana constitutional amendment raised more than $200,000 in the first week of October, helped in part by a donation from the Florida Democratic Party.

State records show People United for Medical Marijuana, the fundraising committee behind the medical marijuana amendment, raised $201,450 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7. Records show the committee received $50,000 from the Florida Democratic Party on Oct. 7.

The donation marks the third time this year the state party donated to the campaign. The Florida Democratic Party gave $150,000 to the committee in September.

People United for Medical Marijuana also received $125,000 from Barbara Stiefel, a Coral Gables resident who has been a major contributor to the campaign. Records show Stiefel has given the fundraising committee more than $1.3 million since 2013.

The committee spent $33,004 in the one-week time period. That sum includes $21,600 for production and post-production costs, and $850 for advertising on WMBM-AM.meThe 2016 medical marijuana ballot initiative 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.

The pro-medical marijuana group out-raised the committee backing the opposition efforts. State records show Drug Free Florida raised $6,895 during the one-week fundraising period. That sum includes $5,000 from Advance Business Associates.

Drug Free Florida spent $543,764 during the one-week fundraising period. That includes $543,650 to Jamestown Associates for media placement.

Drug Free Florida led a successful opposition campaign when a similar amendment was on the ballot in 2014. That ballot initiative received 58 percent support, just shy of the 60 percent needed to become law.

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

 

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