Medical marijuana opponent says he plans to raise $10 million to defeat Amendment 2


  • Illustration by Kittens of industry
Mel Sembler, a former U.S. ambassador and founder of the Drug Free America Foundation, told the Tampa Bay Times last week that he plans to raise $10 million to defeat Florida's medical marijuana initiative this November.

As we reported in our April 20 issue, the opposition to United for Care's Amendment 2, the ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana, has been pretty quiet. Just in the first three months of 2016, People United for Medical Marijuana, the group associated with United for Care, received almost $240,000 in contributions, while the Drug Free Florida Committee has only received a $1,000 contribution from one person, according to Florida Division of Elections records.
The Times reports that last time medical marijuana was on Florida's ballot, Sembler and his wife, Betty Sembler raised $7.5 million to defeat Amendment 2, which failed to garner the 60 percent of votes it needed to become law. 

“We’re trying to save lives and people’s brains,” Sembler tells the Times. “It’s not a medicine.”

United for Care's chairman and Orlando attorney John Morgan had a message for Sembler on social media: 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.