Hmm… Pharmacy Chain Opposes Medical Marijuana? You Don’t Say!Meanwhile, Amendment 2 Enjoys 77% Support
The Publix chain of supermarkets and pharmacies has come under heavy social media criticism after public disclosure records showed the wealthy family which founded the chain is a major contributor to the effort to defeat Amendment 2, which will appear on the November ballot and would increase access to medical marijuana in Florida.
It was revealed earlier this month that the billionaire Jenkins family, that founded the Publix supermarket/pharmacy chain, has given $800,000 to a group fighting the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida.
Ironic much? The founders of a corporation which rakes in billions on the sales of toxic, death-dealing pills from Big Pharma is paying to stifle the competition: a safe, non-toxic herb which works better and more safely for pain control and a vast array of other conditions.
Not unpredictably, by Thursday evening things were getting out of control on Publix’ Facebook page, with the comments of every post, especially this one, being dominated by negative feedback regarding the anti-cannabis contribution.
The trust of Carol Jenkins Barnett, the chairwoman and president of Publix, made the donation earlier this month to the Drug Free Florida Committee, reports Gary White at The Ledger, citing financial disclosure records from the Florida Division of Elections. The group is opposed to Amendment 2, a measure up for a statewide vote in November that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for certain debilitating illnesses, reports Frank Gluck at The News-Press.
Barnett, worth $1.8 billion, according to Forbes, is a resident of Lakeland, is the daughter of George W. Jenkins, who founded Publix Super Markets. Her family trust also made three donations to Drug Free Florida totaling $540,000 during the 2014 campaign to fight that year’s medical marijuana drive.
The latest contribution from the billionaire family trust was made on July 14, according to financial disclosure records. It was first contribution the family has made to Drug Free Florida in the 2016 campaign.
Barnett, the chairwoman and president of Publix Super Markets Charities, couldn’t be reached for comment. Publix announced in June that she has been diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease — which is, ironically, treatable with medical marijuana.Publix quickly engaged in damage control, claiming Barnett’s donation was “personal” and wasn’t made on the company’s behalf, reports Melissa Chan at Time.
“Carol Jenkins Barnett has long supported efforts to protect Florida’s families and children against the perils of drug abuse,” reads a lame PR statement from Publix to Time Magazine. “As such, she feels that Amendment 2 would usher in an unprecedented era of legalized marijuana in Florida as opposed to only helping those who suffer from debilitating illnesses.”
“It is her desire to maintain the health and welfare of Floridians,” the prepared statement ludicrously claims. “For this reason, she contributed to Drug Free Florida, which is dedicated to educating the public on the dangerous consequences contained in this ballot initiative.”
Amendment 2 is polling at 77 percent support in a statewide survey of 1,000 likely voters, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research on behalf of United for Care, found likely Florida voters support the measure by a margin of 77 percent to 20 percent.Anzalone conducted a similar survey for United for Care in June, 2014 in which the previous version of Amendment 2 received 69 percent support. The medical marijuana amendment ultimately received 58 percent in the last election, just shy of the 60 percent that Florida law requires for passage of a constitutional amendment.“Voter support for medical marijuana in Florida is stronger than ever,” said Kevin Akins of Anzalone Liszt Grove, reports Florida Politics. “A broad and diverse coalition of voters across age, racial, and gender lines support Amendment 2 by a winning margin.”
“I’m obviously pleased at these levels of support, but I’m also not surprised,” said United for Care campaign manager, Ben Pollara.”The notion of allowing medical decisions to be made by doctors and patients, not politicians, is simply not controversial. Floridians are compassionate and they know that marijuana can help alleviate suffering.”
“The 2016 ballot language is also stronger and addressed a number of concerns that some voters expressed previously,” Pollara said. “It was approved unanimously by the Supreme Court, and we’re seeing a broader coalition supportive of passage than before.”
Respondents to United for Care’s poll were read the complete ballot title and summary for amendment 2 – “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions” – that will appear on Florida’s 2016 general election ballot, then asked if they would vote “Yes” or “No” on the amendment. The poll was conducted July 17-21 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. The poll included bilingual dialing, and 46 percent of the poll was among cell phone completes, while 39 percent of the poll was among cell phone-only households.
A “Protest Publix” event has been set up on Facebook
Saturday, August 6
Noon until 2 p.m. Eastern
3300 Publix Corporate Parkway
Lakeland, FL 33811-3311