Poll: 75% of Floridians ‘supportive’ of legalized pot

cannabis  leaf
The survey found 90% of NPAs want legalized marijuana.

Florida hasn’t moved toward making cannabis legal for recreational adult use yet, but a new poll suggests voters would have no issue with it.

A survey released Tuesday by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab revealed three in four Floridians are ready to legalize pot.

“Previous polls we conducted have shown support in the mid-60s for marijuana legalization, but Floridians are now highly supportive of recreational marijuana,” noted UNF PORL’s Michael Binder

The “overwhelming majority” of respondents, or 76%, support allowing people to possess small amounts of cannabis. Just 20% of Floridians oppose it.

The idea has been broadly popular for some time, but support for legalized marijuana increased 12 points since a poll on the same topic in late 2019.

The most supportive group of cannabis legalization in the UNF poll was neither Democrats nor Republicans, but non-party affiliated voters. A full 90% of that cohort wants legalized weed, up 26 points from UNF’s 2019 poll.

Democrats continue to message around cannabis legalization, and 76% of their voters want it, tracking with the overall statewide average, and only up three points over 2019.

Legalization is even a winner with Republicans: 64% of those surveyed support the concept, with just 33% opposed. In 2019, just 52% of Republicans backed legalization.

The survey found 69% of Blacks support legalizing cannabis, along with 74% of Hispanics and 76% of White voters. And legalization is strongly supported across all age groups, including 63% of voters 65 and up.

But while Floridians may want legalized cannabis, it won’t be happening this Legislative Session. And it would not be happening with the sanction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who continues to maintain opposition to what he says is a “putrid” smelling plant.

“What I don’t like about it is if you go to some of these places that have done it, the stench when you’re out there, I mean, it smells so putrid,” he told reporters in Tallahassee last month.

“I could not believe the pungent odor that you would see in some of these places,” DeSantis added. “I don’t want to see that here. I want people to be able to breathe freely.”

Though DeSantis purports to oppose cannabis legalization, he has made some moves to liberalize the medical market.

One of his first acts as Governor was to back down on executive branch opposition to smokable flower, a position held by former Gov. Rick Scott.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • ScienceBLVR

    February 22, 2022 at 6:43 am

    And again, DeSantis and the Republicans defy the will of the people who elected them. Why oh why does every legislative session focus on issues not supported by the majority of the populace? Vote them out!

    • Impeach Biden

      February 22, 2022 at 7:02 am

      Well you would think by these polling numbers Nikki “Mary Jane” Fried would be leaving DeSantis. I guess people want their dope, but don’t want a dope as Governor.🤣

  • Kathy

    February 22, 2022 at 10:37 am

    This will never happen with Desantis. He stated he didn’t like the stench of marijuana. The taxes generated by the legalization would certainly help our State. After deciding that Nascar tickets would not be taxed it shows how foolish and arbitrary Desantis is. Jeezus, no tax on tickets that most of us could never afford with or without taxing. There are few and far between events (concerts, movies, baseball, football, hockey, etc) that are in reach of any families. The “pot doctors” and dispensaries are so expensive that most who seek medical marijuana are unable to do so. Instead we, unreasonably, arrest and set high bail for personal amounts.

  • Charles

    February 22, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    DeSantis is WRONG on this issue, as are Scott and Rubio.
    Good issue for the democrats to make political hay with. If republicans can’t be supportive they will come to regret it politically. (And yes I’m a republican)

    • Catrina duncan

      February 22, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      At least three fourths of all Floridians would agree with you on that! You hit the nail right on the head…both Scott and Rubio both have their own selfish agendas at first priority

  • Rob

    February 22, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Recreational weed is an important issue that I want whom ever I vote for to support. But it isn’t the only nor is it most important issue to make the decision of who to vote for. Desantis I feel has done a terrific job running Florida through out the pandemic I do wish he was more open to the ideal of adult uses marijuana in a prefect world we could pass recreational marijuana and also do away with the vertical integration marijuana license system so if someone wanted to get into the cannabis industry they don’t need millions in the bank to do so. And with Nicky fried would still keep the vertical integration Policy in place because it would hurt the Florida cannabis big industries bottom line and they pretty much owns her now not to mention she would probably make them put her face on all cannabis products they sell. Maybe desantis will go to the White House and we can find a governor to do the will of the people and not be for sale to the highest bidders.

  • Pearl riggleman

    February 22, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Deathsantis is definitely a huge freaking tool….”the putrid smell”????? What about the smell of all the truly stank industry in Florida, like lumber paper fertilizer and cattle? He (and his tool Ashley Moody) just use cheap excuses like that to smack down the will of the people because of their own old-fashioned beliefs. Please vote this dumb bastard out of office!

  • Charles Whitacre

    February 23, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Just you watch, the comment section will resemble the demographics of Florida voters, as at least 80% of us want fully legal cannabis, just like every other plant on earth, and the other 20% of comments will reflect the typical deep-red bitter old soundbites: you’ll hear our old favorites….”Nikki’s a pothead!”. “Gateway drug!”. “What about the children!?”. “Putrid smell!”. “Dope head!”. And so much more!

  • Doug

    February 23, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Just you watch, the comment section will resemble the demographics of Florida voters, as at least 80% of us want fully legal cannabis, just like every other plant on earth, and the other 20% of comments will reflect the typical deep-red bitter old soundbites: you’ll hear our old favorites….”Nikki’s a pothead!”. “Gateway drug!”. “What about the children!?”. “Putrid smell!”. “Dope head!”. And so much more!

  • Big mack

    February 23, 2022 at 11:20 am

    If your kids wanted to get their hands on any drug….I mean cannabis, coke, speed, whatever….they could get it TODAY! It’s on every street corner in America, and legalizing any one of them isn’t going to be introducing drugs to kids, it’s already there, in a massive, all encompassing black market, that is un-regulated and corrupt as hell. Your little “war on drugs” has given the power and infrastructure to cartels and gangsters, and ironically, the LEGAL stuff would be cleaner and safer than that street stuff your teen is sneaking…which could be laced with fentanyl by the way….the legal market would deliver a death blow to the gang industry and bring billions of dollars to schools and hospitals, but old Dicksantis just can’t let that happen, heaven forbid!

  • Peter S

    February 23, 2022 at 11:31 am

    You could tell that desantis just came up with that “putrid smell” excuse right off the top of his greasy head, at the last minute, because he doesn’t have ANY legitimate excuse for refusing what a super majority of us want. He must be either; so deep in the pocket of big pharma that he simply must stop cannabis at any cost…or, his own old-fashioned hatred of weed is clouding his judgement and he feels he has the god given right to block millions of Floridians from voting for something he KNOWS would pass if put on the ballot. I thought he was the “freedom governor”????? Looks more like a Roman Caesar:(

    • Bobby

      February 23, 2022 at 1:55 pm

      “freedom governor”. I like that, like the freedom to poison the springs, pollute the beaches, starve the manatees, fire the teachers who don’t obey his sick agenda, suck Trumps balls and the freedom to be brutalized by cops for any and all reasons….yeah that sounds good Ron! But who are we kidding? We would need to fire him, and every old, white republican pig in the Florida senate, along with supreme court Florida judges to get any real change, you know, like letting the people actually vote on something 75% of us want? They won’t even let it get to the ballot, one cheap fuc@in excuse after the next….

  • Gary Wayne

    February 23, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Vote for the candidate who claims they will legalize pot and permit the opening of recreational marijuana businesses. If you’ve visited states who have done this, you will know why we need to vote out those who oppose leaglization!

Comments are closed.


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