Ron DeSantis' Plan To Scuttle Florida's Cannabis Legalization Initiative With His Vast Fundraising Network, GOP Apparatus

Zinger Key Points
  • DeSantis is planning to raise money for a ‘counter message’ to recreational marijuana and abortion-rights ballot amendments.
  • DeSantis will also use his personal network to fund contentious races for federal candidates such as Donald Trump and GOP Rep. Laurel Lee.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may not be on the ballot this November, but he’s gearing up to play a significant role nonetheless. According to sources cited by the Miami Herald, DeSantis is preparing to raise funds for a “counter message” against recreational marijuana and abortion-rights ballot amendments, funneling the money through the Republican Party of Florida for campaigning.

The Florida Supreme Court approved both a recreational marijuana and abortion rights amendment in early April, on which Floridians will vote in the November 2024 election.

How DeSantis Will Scuttle Both Amendments

The Republican Party of Florida delved into the issue during its quarterly meeting in Orlando on Saturday where it voted to oppose the legalization of adult use marijuana, setting the stage to initiate a "vote no” campaign on both cannabis and abortion.

To that end, noted the outlet, DeSantis committed to leverage his network to raise funds for both of these campaigns, utilizing the party apparatus for distribution.

Evan Power, Republican Party of Florida chair confirmed the party’s opposition to both amendments, citing alignment with what Floridians want and referencing the Democrats’ focus on abortion in 2022, which resulted in a 20-point victory for Republicans.

"We support killing the [marijuana and abortion] amendments as a party because it's not good policy for the state. When you look at it, it seems like these amendments are out of step with what Floridians want. In 2022, Democrats made abortion their most important issue, and we won by 20 points," Power told the Miami Herald. "It's going to be through the party. The governor will use his financial position to raise money for a counter message for both of those amendments."

DeSantis will also use his personal network to fund contentious races for federal candidates such as Donald Trump and Republican Rep. Laurel Lee, Power added.

One of DeSantis' complaints about the legal cannabis initiative, which was organized by Smart and Safe Florida, has come down to the stinky smell of weed. He also called voter-sponsored ballot initiatives “radical’ and “confusing” for voters.

With Florida possibly joining the dozens of US states with fully legal cannabis, why not meet and speak directly with top executives, investors, advocates and policymakers about the future of this booming industry? Join us at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Now Read: Deterrence Or Free Will? This Texas City To Vote Against Weed Decriminalization Following Opposition From Gov. Abbott And AG Paxton

Photo: Benzinga edit with images by Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, USA – Ron DeSantis via Wikimedia Commons and Jose Luis Sanchez Pereyra via Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsPoliticsLegalTop Storiescannabis FloridaEvan PowerRepublican Party of FloridaRon DeSantis
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