Despite overwhelming support from the public and the medical community on the issue, Gov. Deal has done little to advance medical marijuana legislation in Georgia.
Now we have a good idea why.
According to Politico’s sources, Gov. Deal’s recent Las Vegas trip included a secret fundraising meeting with conservative gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson at his Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
Gov. Deal refuses to confirm nor deny that the Adelson meeting took place, but we know one thing for certain: if mega-rich Adelson is giving money to Deal, there will be strings attached.
Among other things, the Vegas billionaire is a fervent opponent of medical marijuana.
In fact, Adelson is so strongly opposed to medical marijuana that he spent $2.5 million to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have legalized the treatment in Florida.
Adelson has already tried to insert himself into Georgia’s political discussion in the past. This time, he’s trying to buy the the governor’s office.
Gov. Deal, who is locked in a dead heat with challenger Jason Carter in the polls, would love for Adelson to bankroll his campaign. And he’s willing to do or say just about anything to make that happen–even if it means denying Georgia families the medical options they desperately need.
Georgia families with children who suffer from hundreds of seizures daily have spoken out about Gov. Deal’s slow-moving crawl toward regulation.
Some Georgians have been forced to uproot their families and move to places like Colorado, where their children and other family members can legally receive the treatment they need.
Deal’s challenger Sen. Jason Carter voted for the medical marijuana bill and, if elected governor, vows to move legislation forward.
Libertarian candidate for governor Andrew Hunt has also been an outspoken proponent of medical marijuana.
Georgia Republicans like Rep. Allen Peake and Sen. Renee Unterman, who are co-sponsoring a medical marijuana study committee that begins this week, are fighting to move legislation forward.
Gov. Deal, on the other hand, has been described as “the most wary” lawmakerwhen it comes to medical marijuana, vaguely claiming that he’s “heard mixed reports on the issue.” Deal is out of step with Georgia lawmakers and, more importantly, with the people of Georgia.
Quite simply, Gov. Deal has not done anything to help these families in need.
And we now know Gov. Deal’s real reason for slow-walking medical marijuana legalization in Georgia: Money. Lots and lots of money.
Deep-pocket donors in politics are nothing new. And they’re not going away anytime soon.
But when politicians like Gov. Deal put the interests of an out-of-state billionaire ahead of Georgia families, we have a duty to take a stand.
On Nov. 4th, we’ll have the chance to speak our minds at the ballot box. Together, we will show Gov. Nathan Deal that all the money in the world can’t buy our votes.
And be sure to continue the conversation on Better Georgia’s Facebook page.