Medical Marijuana Opponents In Florida Gain Money And Allies, Including Billionaire Sheldon Adelson

Opponents to a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Florida gained firepower Tuesday when campaign finance records showed that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson had cut a $2.5 million check to bankroll the opposition effort.

Also Tuesday, a coalition led by the Florida Sheriffs Association announced it was launching a separate statewide campaign to defeat the amendment, known as Amendment 2 on the November ballot.

The contribution by Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire and a heavy contributor to Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election effort, not only juices the antimarijuana movement, it effectively brings the medical marijuana debate into this year’s governor’s race.

Charlie Crist On Medical Marijuana In Florida: 'I Will Vote For It'

FLORIDA:  Gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist (D) said he will vote for a November constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

“This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida,” Crist said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “I will vote for it.”

Polls show the ballot initiative is extremely popular — and could help unseat Republican incumbent Rick Scott. 82 percent of Floridians support the amendment, according to a survey late last year by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, including 70 percent of registered Republicans.