DeSantis' Anti-Cannabis 'Florida Freedom Fund' Raises Barely A Fraction Of Legalization Committee's $60M

Zinger Key Points
  • DeSantis' Freedom Fund PAC, with a stated goal of defeating cannabis legalization and abortion access, has raised only $10,000.
  • Florida's cannabis legalization initiative is the best-funded amendment of this type in American history.

In the ongoing battle over Florida’s constitutional amendments to legalize recreational marijuana and access to abortion, Governor Ron DeSantis is facing a huge fundraising disadvantage. His recently created Florida Freedom Fund, with the stated goal of defeating these two amendments has raised a meager $10,000 — an amount that pales in comparison to the millions amassed by proponents of the cannabis amendment.  

Smart & Safe Florida, the committee leading the initiative, which is the best-funded cannabis legalization amendment in American history, reported it had has raised over $60 million, according to June 10 campaign filings. DeSantis' Freedom Fund reported having raised $10,000 in the five weeks of fundraising activity ending June 21, according to Florida Politics. Both amendments will be decided in the November 2024 elections. Florida-based Trulieve TCNNF has reportedly spent more than $40 million to get the measure on the ballot.

As part of DeSantis’ criticism of the cannabis legalization initiative, known as Amendment 3, he has called legal marijuana a gateway to turning Florida into cities like San Francisco or Chicago, reeking of weed smoke with people consuming wherever and whenever they choose. He said at a mid-June press event that, if legalized in Florida, people will “be able to bring what, 20 joints to an elementary school.”

"We are working with a lot of stakeholders who are interested in making sure that we defeat Amendment 3, which would basically do marijuana, wherever you want, just smoke it, take it. And it would turn Florida into San Francisco, or Chicago, or some of these places," DeSantis said. "We already have medical marijuana, it's out there. But we got to keep our streets clean, we cannot have every town smelling like marijuana."

This is despite a recent Fox News poll showing that 69% of Floridians support the abortion-access initiative and 66% favor legalizing adult-use cannabis.

Related: DeSantis Says Cannabis Legalization Amendment Will Protect Weed Rights Better Than 1st, 2nd Amendments Protect Free Speech, Gun Rights

Speaking Of Money

At a roundtable in mid-June, Safe & Smart quoted economists who estimate that legalizing marijuana could generate between $195 million and $431 million annually in sales tax revenue, providing a significant boost to the state's economy. Florida is not unique either. Other legal weed states are doing it to the tune of $20 billion in tax revenue.

Photo: Shutterstock

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