Advertisement
  1. Breaking News

Mel Sembler begins fundraising effort to kill medical marijuana initiative

Published Apr. 22, 2016

With Jeb Bush out of the race, Mel Sembler has another 2016 focus: Defeating Florida's medical marijuana ballot initiative.

Sembler tells The Buzz he and his wife, Betty, plan to raise at least $10 million, exceeding their successful 2014 effort that took in $7.5 million.

A presidential election will get Democrats, and young voters in general, to the polls and that favors the pro-marijuana side. Polling shows the measure clearing the needed 60 percent threshold.

Sembler said the growing financial boon that is pot is another hurdle. "It's always a challenge, particularly when there's a major profit on the other side and there's no profit on our side.

"We're trying to save lives and people's brains," the Drug Free America founder said. "It's not a medicine."

Sembler has also been asked by the governors in Arizona and Massachusetts to help defeat efforts in those states.

Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, said: "Mel Sembler can spend whatever he wants to try and deny sick and suffering Floridians relief in the form of medical marijuana, but the will of the people is stronger than his money. United for Care will wage a statewide campaign to counter Sembler's dishonest attacks and medical marijuana will pass in November."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    Seth Monroe Majors, 31, died at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
  2. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
    The shooting happened on the 5100 block of Matanzas Avenue, police said.
  3. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
    Charges in the incident are pending, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
  4. Former St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love hired Elle Resources as the agency's media and communications firm in 2018. The firm, owned by Michelle Ligon, was paid $5,000 every month, twice the limit on the fixed-price contract, a review by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development found. The review found eight violations of federal regulations and the federal agency has given the Housing Authority until Oct. 29 to explain the violations and come up with a corrective action plan.
    A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development review finds eight violations of federal rules at the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, including “serious lapses” in the award and payment of...
  5. A man uses the bike lane on First Avenue S in 2018. A bicyclist was struck and killed while using the crosswalk in the 2800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Street N, where the city installed new bike lanes. [TIMES (2018)]  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The crash took place on a stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N the city has tried to make safer to bike and walk on.
  6. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    One woman, 82, was crossing 50th Street, and the other, 58, was struck on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
  7. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy intentionally struck a car to keep up from spinning into oncoming traffic along Curlew Road.
  8. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    A seriously injured man found near Fowler Avenue and 22nd Street died at a hospital, police said.
  9. Erik Maltais took an unconventional path to becoming CEO of Immertec, a virtual reality company aimed at training physicians remotely. He dropped out of school as a teenager, served in Iraq in the Marine Corps and eventually found his way to Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES  |  Times
    Software from Immertec can bring physicians into an operating room thousands of miles away.
  10. Homeowner Cheryl Murdoch, 59, explains the workings of the Philips Smart Mirror in her bathroom. Murdoch and her husband live in the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon, where some residents are piloting new health technologies inside their homes. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    In Pasco’s Crystal Lagoon community, AdventHealth and Metro Development Group are testing in-home technology aimed at keeping people away from the hospital.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement