Publix Heiress Donates $800K to Fight Medical Marijuana in Florida

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In an effort to defeat Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative, the Drug Free Florida Committee has ramped up its fundraising, reportedly raising $805,000 between July 9 and July 15. The bulk of this money came from one contributor—the family that founded beloved supermarket chain Publix.

According to a recently filed financial disclosure, the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust donated $800,000 to Drug Free Florida, a group opposed to Amendment 2, which would allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis for certain debilitating illnesses.

Barnett, the daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins, stepped down from Publix’s board of directors in June, after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

According to WPBF 25 News, the trust also contributed $540,000 in 2014 to Drug Free Florida, which helped defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would have broadly legalized medical marijuana.

But before you start boycotting Publix, the company’s spokesperson Maria Brous assured the Miami New Times that the donation is not reflective of Publix’s views.

“Publix has not made a contribution in support of or in opposition to Amendment 2,” she said. “The donation made by Carol Jenkins Barnett was a personal donation and not one made by the company.”

The same sentiment was echoed in a comment given to TIME magazine, that the donation was “personal” and not a company decision.

“Carol Jenkins Barnett has long supported efforts to protect Florida’s families and children against the perils of drug abuse. 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,” Publix said in a statement to TIME. “It is her desire to maintain the health and welfare of Floridians. 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.”

18 comments
  1. It sounds like she should be more concerned with her own health and welfare instead of spending money to fuck up other people’s health and welfare.

    1. She still believes the lies she was assured were true as a child. Too much money for anyone to tell anything. We can thank the Hearst family and William Jennings Bryan for many well told lies. And many others who will live in infamy if only in memory.

  2. When I finish my probation and medical Cannabis is legal in Florida, I am going to puff so hard in the parking lot of my nearest Publix. I am going to wear my weed shirts to buy my groceries.

  3. For fuck sakes, enough with this bullshit. Let the people who NEED Medical Marijuana have their medicine. There are people who truly need MM in order to heal themselves and make their lives better. Marijuana is NOT a demon weed. It’s a motherfucking plant for god’s sake. A PLANT! It’s 2016 and the fucking government still has it under Schedule 1. 🙁

  4. How does anyone allow a woman with “early onset Alzheimers” to give away 1.34M??? I smell lawyers and fuckery!

  5. I think wax pen can’t seem to und rink the FDA/DEA kook aide. Going through life in willful ignorance probably a bad idea.

    1. follow the money. Pharma hates weed, costs them a third of their mood elevator sales. Gvt is the front for corporations.

  6. shop here we dont have the politics of the boss. What shite. Her money comes from there and I would NEVER shop there.

  7. Oor Founding Fathers never intended for government to control the use of a plant.
    That includes tobacco and pot. As a LIbertarian, I’ll be voting yes.

  8. I wonder if she has heard about all of these scientific studies that show that Marijuana is helpful for people who are suffering from Alzhimers? Very sad that she is fighting against the very thing that could actually help her.

      1. Do a search on “cannabis alzheimer’s disease” or “cannabis dementia” and you will see it’s true…

    1. I agree: it seems counterintuitive, but dementia can be treated successfully with medicinal cannabis. She is a fool to be against the most valuable medicinal (and industrial) plant on the planet when it could help her condition…!

  9. There is no proof that Marijuana kills memory. I can tell you from a personal experience that Marijuana does not harm a person’s memory. I have been smoking since I was a teenager and I am now in my 50’shot. My memory is fine. I still remember an address and phone # from my parents first home. We moved out when I was 11. I have had quite a few phone#s and addresses since than.
    I would be willing to bet that any scientists would tell you that a cell phone is much worse for your memory than Marijuana will ever be. Memory is about learning something as many times as it takes to committed it to be able to repeat them upon request. This is an exercise for the brain. When you don’t use the brain to remember because all the information is in your phone it is good to continue doing exercises for the brain.

  10. Maria Brous, she is Publix. She is the heiress of the company. Boycotting Publix is an inconvenience, but I feel like it is a must.

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