Publix heiress donates $800,000 to fight medical marijuana ballot initiative

A Publix Super Market is seen early February 8, 2002 in Norcross, GA. 

The family behind grocery store chain Publix has donated thousands of dollars to a campaign fighting medical marijuana ballot initiative in Florida, records show.

The Miami New Times reported the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust donated $800,000 to Drug Free Florida on July 14, which is a group running a campaign to kill the medical marijuana amendments in the state. According to Time, the group opposes Amendment 2, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients for "certain debilitating illnesses."

Barnett is the daughter of George Jenkins, who founded Publix, and was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and stepped down from the chain’s board of directors, Time added. According to Publix, this donation was not made on the company’s behalf and is strictly "personal."

"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."

The Miami New Times reported Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, which is a campaign in favor of the amendment, said Jenkins is “wasting her money” and "it isn’t time for potheads to get up in arms and boycott Publix just yet."

Read more at the Miami New Times and Time.