Your favorite place to shop and grab a sub may have just lost a few awesomeness points in the hearts of many customers. Carol Jenkins Barnett, former Publix Chairwoman and daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins, recently donated $800,000 to the Drug Free Florida Committee to fight against medical marijuana in our state.
Similar to the previous vote on this topic, which failed by just 2 percent, the group is running a “No on 2” campaign to discourage voters from passing the proposed state amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Amendment 2 will be on the ballot in November, and if passed, would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients dealing with debilitating medical conditions. The Drug Free Florida Committee opposes Amendment 2, believing that it would lead to legalization of marijuana for recreational use … a “gateway amendment,” if you will.
Publix has stated that Barnett’s donation was personal and not on behalf of the company, but given the close association she has with the store, that won’t stop people from seeing her views as representative of her family’s company.
It’s probably no coincidence that Publix also has a pharmacy in about 90 percent of their stores, recently becoming the company’s fastest-growing department. Medical marijuana would offer many potential customers an alternative to big pharma drugs, which could hurt their profits.
Ironically, Barnett stepped down from her role on the store’s Board of Directors a few months ago after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Research on the potential uses of medical marijuana has shown therapeutic benefits for Alzheimer’s patients. Good luck with that, Carol.