Medical marijuana push still reliant on millionaire's support

June 22, 2014 

FILE--Samples of medical marijuana are displayed at Canna Care in Sacramento, Calif. PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / SACRAMENTO BEE via MCT

TAMPA — Supporters of the medical marijuana Amendment 2 have begun a movement to build grassroots support to the cause, but opponents note the group is still funded mostly by one multimillionaire.

The Tampa Tribune reported that “Yes On 2” have asked supporters to donate a small amount every time opposing “Vote No On 2” posts on Facebook or Twitter. The amount can be as little as 50 cents.

“Obama in ‘08 was the first national campaign to truly exploit the Internet for small giving,” said Robin Rorapaugh, a veteran leader of state initiative campaigns. “If a person gives you a dollar, they will go vote. They’re invested at that point.”

United for Care’s campaign manager Ben Pollara said they have been running a grassroots campaign for a year.

“Vote No On 2” spokeswoman Sarah Bascom insists the push is not a grassroots movement.

“Over $4 million of their money has come from one donor,” Bascom said. “And that one donor continues to say he will spend millions more — they are not raising millions with small donations. In order for them to truly be turning to a grassroots funding structure they would have to now swear off the (Orlando trial lawyer and Democrat John) Morgan future millions, which I highly doubt will happen.”

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