In a newly released poll, seven out of 10 Florida residents confirmed they would vote for a state constitutional amendment that may appear on the November 2014 ballot seeking to legalize medicinal cannabis for qualified patients.
The survey was sponsored by the activist group People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) and was conducted by professional political pollster David Beattie's company Hamilton Campaigns. 600 registered voters across the state were surveyed from January 30 through February 3 and only a paltry total of 24 percent stated opposition to a medical pot amendment.
Based on those numbers, it seems a strong possibility Florida could become the first Southern state to legalize medical cannabis. However, it should be acknowledged that as a coastal region populated by many liberal Northeast transplants and with a powerful Latino constituency, Florida is far from the typical “Dixie state.”
The largest support for legalizing medical pot was from Caucasian women, Latinos, and African-Americans, the latter two groups being those that would surely benefit from the legal protections that medical marijuana offers, as minorities are much more likely than whites to be arrested for pot-related offenses. And while “only” 56 percent of Republicans would vote for the medical marijuana amendment, it's still a majority among the most ardent opponents to marijuana reform.
Perhaps equally significant, medical marijuana politics could play a role in determining the next governor of Florida according to the Miami Herald, as progressive voters turning out to legalize medicinal cannabis might also be inclined to ouster current Republican Governor Rick Scott.
Scott, who made a fortune on a private for-profit healthcare company which he was forced to resign from in 1997 as his corporation was charged with fourteen felonies involving fabricated billing, is another hypocritical, anti-pot crusader who signed a bill into law in 2011 forcing welfare applicants to undergo drug testing (even though it was later statistically proved that welfare applicants use drugs at a lower percentage than the average American – you know, because drugs cost money, which people on welfare don't have).
To that end, former Republican operative turned Libertarian (and PUFMM backer) Roger Stone is toying with the idea of running against Gov Scott in Nov 2014 on a pro-medical marijuana platform.
A summary of the proposed Floridian ballot can be found below.
More @ www.miamiherald.com
This proposed amendment is designed to create a new Article I, Section 28 (“Right to Marijuana for Treatment Purposes”) of the Florida constitution so as to permit the cultivation, purchase, possession and use of marijuana to treat Alzheimer’s, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, diseases causing muscle spasticity, or other diseases and conditions when recommended by a physician.