The latest Quinnipiac University poll is out and it has stunning news for anyone watching the campaign for medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.
Support for medical marijuana in Florida ranges from 80 to 93 percent according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Overall, 88 percent of Floridians support “allowing adults in Florida to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” with the lowest support at 80 percent among Republicans and the second-highest support at 93 percent among Democrats. No gender, age, or racial demographic showed less than 84 percent.
Florida’s Question 2 is a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in November that requires 60 percent of the vote. With support for medical marijuana among the state’s influential Hispanic population at an amazing 94 percent and opposition at a scant 4 percent, with even Republicans supporting at 80 percent and seniors, another huge voting demographic in Florida, supporting at 84 percent, and their opposition well below 20 percent (16 and 13 percent, respectively), the issue of medical marijuana may have an influence on other statewide elections.
Currently, Republican governor and medical marijuana opponent Rick Scott is in a close battle with former Republican governor-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who has emerged as a supporter of medical marijuana. It’s no surprise that the medical marijuana amendment only made the ballot thanks to the millions of dollars poured in by Crist’s current employer and political supporter, Orlando attorney John Morgan. Will Hispanics, Republicans, and seniors turn on Gov. Scott for his opposition to medical marijuana, especially when the alternative is a familiar former Republican former governor?
Additionally, 53 percent of Floridians support “allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use”, with women’s support ten points behind men’s and only one third of Republicans and seniors in support. 45 percent of Floridians admit to having tried marijuana themselves, but 82 percent agree with the president that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and 54 percent do not believe it is a “gateway drug.”
In Florida! I’m not sure what makes me more excited -- the prospect of all those senior “snow birds” who’ll head back to New England and Mid-Atlantic states in the summer, wondering why they’re criminals if they bring their medicine back from Florida, or the fact that medical marijuana is a slam dunk and legalization has majority support in Kevin Sabet’s backyard.