Medical marijuana Amendment 2 gets 60 percent in almost every county


They love them some medical marijuana in the Florida Keys, and in the college towns of Gainesville and Tallahassee.

But then, Floridians seem to like the idea throughout the Sunshine State of making medical marijuana a state constitutional right.

Amendment 2, which rolled to a huge victory Tuesday, was approved by at least 60 percent of voters in 63 of Florida’s 67 counties, falling short of the statewide 60 percent approval threshold only in four sparsely populated counties: Dixie, Lafayette, and Holmes in the Panhandle, and Hardee in southwest Florida. And it barely fell short in those.

Statewide, Amendment 2 won with 71 percent approval of 9.1 million votes cast for Tuesday’s election. The issue got 6,596,615 yes votes in unofficial returns posted by the Florida Secretary of State. It needed 5,467,718 yes votes to pass, meaning it was approved with more than 1.1 million votes to spare.

The county that most embraced the idea of medicinal products processed from marijuana is Monroe. The home to the Florida Keys and the Everglades’ lowlands gave an 80 percent thumbs-up to Amendment 2. Not far behind were Alachua and Leon counties, homes to the University of Florida, Florida State University, and Florida A&M University, which offered 77 and 76 percent approvals, respectively.

And not far behind them were a whole host of counties, including some of Florida’s most urban. Broward, Pinellas, Palm Beach, Duval, Orange, and Hillsborough counties all offered at least 73 percent approvals, swinging hundreds of thousands of votes each into Amendment 2’s convincing margin of victory. Among big-city counties, only Miami-Dade failed to top 70 percent, but still registered 68 percent approval.

There really weren’t any hot spots of opposition. Even traditionally conservative counties such as St. Johns, Flagler, Clay, Lee, Sarasota, Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Bay all offered 70 percent approvals for Amendment 2.

As for Dixie, Lafayette, Hardee, and Holmes, the lowest support among those was in Holmes, at 57 percent approval. If every county had to top 60 percent [and they don’t; the 60 percent threshold is only for a statewide tally], then Holmes fell 290 yes votes short; Hardee, 158; Lafayette, 34; and Dixie, 8.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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