The trust of Carol Jenkins Barnett, the chairwoman and president of Publix, just dealt a huge blow to those who want medical marijuana legalized in Florida. Her trust has donated $800,000 to the Drug Free Florida Committee. The group is opposed to Amendment 2, a measure that is set to be voted on in November and if approved, would give Doctors the ability to prescribe medical marijuana to patients for a wealth of diagnosis.
Publix said Barnett’s donation was “personal” and was not made on the company’s behalf.
“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.”
Here’s the thing, though, it is personal. Publix has one of the most widely visited and profitable pharmacies in the state of Florida. If you live in Florida and you use a pharmacy, the odds are favorable that you have used Publix at least a few times, if not all the time. This isn’t about protecting Florida families, it is, as per the usual, about protecting pharmaceutical revenues. And it’s despicable.
Carol Jenkins stepped down as from the Publix board of directors due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at age 59. I wonder if Carol is aware of the research showing that marijuana might help Alzheimer’s patients? One might thinks she’d be open to trying it for herself while giving the rest of Florida citizens the shaft.