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


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 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 out-raised 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.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


  • Frank A. Mirabella

    July 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    This should not be considered a charitable contribution. Publix is in the liquor business and obviously believes that the approval of Amendment 2 could lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana, which would be competitive with their liquor business.

    • John Pena

      July 27, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Its not the liquor business they are worried about. They are worried about its pharmacies.. Legalization of medical marijuana will replace a lot of prescriptions

  • Never2Much

    July 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I would like to give you the benefit of doubt becuase you do offer a small selection of healthy food. I am utterly disgusted in your business practice and I will no longer be support your store and find alternative stores to shop at becuase of multiple questionable actions. For one I am sick of going in to multiple stores and finding expired food on your shelfs, not just by a couple days but months old. This action of spending $800,000 on fighting a fake drug war that harms innocent people is scumbagish and un American. I am ashamed of your actions becuase you live and love your freedom of protection, freedom to hord huge lump some of money, freedom to choose what you want to spend it on And becuase of customers like myself have gave you the freedom to almost anything in the world and get away with whatever you want becuase of the level or greed that exists right now. I can give you one thing that, that amount of money could have been used for. DISABLED VETERANS, veterans that continue to this day to fight and allow you to enjoy your freedoms. There’s is a huge issue and that’s 22 veteran killing themselves a day, do to the strain of lack of financial support to receive and get the medical and life help that they need to make a recovery or manage their lives. 22 veterans dying a day is far more a bigger issue in Florida than cannabis that doesnt kill a single person. I hope you feel like a nothing and don’t walk around thinking you are some saviour (GOD) doing things becuase your not so enjoy your freedom but believe you are the issue the problem right now in America and why no one want to vote for Hilary or dont want nothing to do with big business in government. USE YOUR MONEY TO GO BUY AND PAY FOR BEACH HOUSES AND MATERIALISTIC THINGS DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN DESTROYING PEOPLES LIVES YOU ARE SICK!!!

  • Poor Bastard

    July 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I am really sad to learn this information. Someone with so much money and so much greed. I will save my entire life to get 800K, and for her it’s just a tax deduction.

  • Amy King

    August 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    “At 10am on Saturday August 13 The Silver Tour, Norml of Florida and Regulate Florida, will picket one of the busiest Publix stores in Broward county, as well as stores in Tampa, Orlando and several upstate locations, to urge Publix customers to do their weekly grocery shopping some place else. This is a one-day picket effort meant to send a financially driven message to Publix. According to Silver Tour founder, Robert Platshorn, who organized, the protest, “Publix is a great chain. Most Floridians love to shop there, but they have to realize that medical marijuana is an important medicine, especially for the state’s huge senior population. If they fail to get the message we will be back. Again and again.” Platshorn and his partners believe that the one-day boycott will cost the supermarket chain much more than the $800,000 given to stop Amendment 2.”

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