New poll shows Floridians support medical marijuana initiative 87% to 12%


For those following the possible legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, it may appear to be deja vu all over again.

A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday morning shows overwhelming support for the issue, leading by a 87-12 percent margin. The issue could come before voters in 2016.

However, at a similar juncture two years ago, Quinnipiac showed the medical marijuana constitutional amendment proposal getting equally stratospheric ratings, only to end up losing at the ballot box.

The high-water mark in any poll for what was Amendment 2 on the 2014 ballot in Florida was a Quinnipiac poll released Nov. 21, 2013, that showed the measure getting 82 percent support.

It ended up getting nearly 58 percent at the polls a year later, more than two percentage points shy of the 60 percent required for passage.

“The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough,” Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown said. “In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the state constitution.”

Although not as well known, there’s a separate move to get a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot in Florida to legalize marijuana outright for everyone, not just those who suffer from a malady.

When Quinnipiac asked Florida voters about that proposal, 51 percent said they supported the idea, while 45 percent opposed it. Men support it by 57-41 percent, with women narrowly opposing it 49-46 percent.

However, as noted above, the measure would need to get 60 percent to win approval.

Both measures must get more than 683,000 certified signatures accepted by the Florida Secretary of State’s office by Feb. 1 to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Quinnipiac survey 1,173 voters between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


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