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Medical marijuana approval soaring in FL: 82% favor in Q-Poll. Plurality support pot legalization

@MarcACaputo

If a medical marijuana initiative makes Florida's ballot next year, it could pass with an astonishing 82 percent of the vote, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that finds voters also favor outright legalization as well.

Support for the proposed constitutional amendment is high among voters of every political stripe, age and income level, with independents lending the most support: 88 percent, the poll shows.

The overall 82-16 percent support for medical marijuana is the biggest to date. The previous high-point for Florida approval was about 70 percent in a poll taken earlier this year by the medical-marijuana advocacy group, People United for Medical Marijuana.

There are some differences in wording between the initiative and the Quinnipiac poll; the amendment says doctors can "recommend" marijuana, the poll asks if a doctor should be able to "prescribe" it.

Still, medical marijuana is clearly popular. And marijuana legalization is becoming more-liked as well, albeit narrowly.

Nearly half of Florida voters favor it -- 48 percent -- while 46 percent oppose pot legalization for personal use. That's within the margin of error, but it's a leading indicator of a shift in public opinion. Support for legalization is again strongest among independents (57-37 percent), and then Democrats (55-39 percent).

But Republicans are opposed 30-64 percent. Contrast that with GOP voter support for medical marijuana is solid: 70-26 percent.

One early poll and analysis from People United found that medical-marijuana was so popular that it could alter the course of the governor's race.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott opposes medical marijuana; Democrats Charlie Crist and Nan Rich support the initiative, which is funded and led by Crist's employer, trial attorney John Morgan, a Democratic donor. A major Florida Republican donor, former ambassador Mel Sembler, is opposing the measure through his Drug Free America Foundation.

Scott trailed Crist in Quinnipiac's poll by 7 percentage points, 40-47 percent. That's an improvement for Scott, however, compared to the last Quinnipiac Poll in June, when the governor trailed by 10 percentage points.

As for medical marijuana's fate, the proposed amendment -- which takes 60 percent voter approval to pass in Florida -- appears to be on an easy path to victory at the moment. But only if it makes the ballot.

The Florida legislative leaders and the state's Attorney General want the state Supreme Court to block the measure from the ballot, saying the ballot summary is misleading and that it violates a rule that limits the scope of a constitutional amendment to a single subject. People United for Medical Marijuana, the advocacy group pushing the measure, say the criticisms are false.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear the matter next month.

Even if it passes constitutional muster, People United needs to collect 683,149 verified voter signatures by February. People United has gathered 200,000 so far, of which more than 110,000 had been verified last month.

In November, Miami Beach voters approved a non-binding straw poll calling for medical marijuana by 64 percent.

 

 

Comments

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John

...and yet we won't even be allowed to vote on. Talk about taxation without representation.

Redundant

If it does make the ballot, and is passed, the Republican Legislature may choose to delay and deter as they did with the class size amendment. The will of the people is not what they are about.

knowa

I think these prohibitionist are finding them self's on the wrong side of History.

ed jenkins

The people of Florida would never support this attempt by drug dealers to sneak their product into our state in a somewhat legal manner harming our citizens and youth. We have worked hard to rid our state of tobacco and the last thing the citizens want is for more harmful narcotics to become prevalent in their society. Any people behind this effort need to be prosecuted on drug charges for their attempts to harm this state.

Norman Gooding

At what point do politicians realize that it doesn't matter what their personal opinion on medical marijuana is nor what the federal government or it's appointed bureaucrats think,,when they start losing their jobs over it many will have an epipehany.
Get loud and get proud,,just don't go baked,,the guy that forgets what his question was will be the only guy on TV news.

Mike Parent

When 82% support assures Nothing, the system is irrevocably broken!

thomas jones

get a grip ed. you and many others have fallen for 60+ years of unscientific nonsense. 'medical marijuana' is merely a ploy to regulate and tax a virtually harmless herb. keeping the myth alive about this 'dangerous narcotic' makes the government a new class of dealers. it should be on the Burpee seed rack along side the rosemary, basil, thyme and the rest of nature's useful herbs.

Eddie G. Rodriguez

Ed Jenkins your words are foul to human ears and your ignorance clouds your judgment. If Marijuana was a narcotic (a deadly one) I think we'd all be dead by now. And tobacco? It's ever growing in FL, nice attempt but I rather have MJ than cancer.

Eddie G. Rodriguez

Not to mention I'm chronically epileptic this herb will medicine for me if it gets passed into law :) I'll be happy to use medicine that doesn't make me sick and force my body to get well instead of inducing regeneration naturally. This is the people's herb and goddamn we want it legal now! Nature wasn't intended to be illegal.

Flynn

I think marijuana would be beneficial for people who need it. To respond to a statement I read on these comments about harming our citizens and youth I don’t agree with that. I believe that there are already a large number of citizens and youth that are already using marijuana compared to other legal drugs like prescription pills and alcohol, marijuana in my opinion is far less dangerous. I don’t do any drugs or drink or prescription pills but I have to go and buy marijuana and take the risk of getting arrested because it’s the one thing that eases my Mothers pain. She suffers from Arthritis and Glaucoma. I hope and pray that it becomes legal the state of Florida can generate large revenues from this if its taxed and regulated correctly. This statement is only my opinion and apologize to anyone who disagrees or is offended.

knowa

The conspiracy history of Cannabis prohibition is a disgrace to American jurisprudence. What the the AG ought to be doing is to allow for a publicly open and transparent re-examination of cannabis. How ever they know that its pretty much benign in comparison to other legal substances and it would expose the lies and fraud that they have perpetuated with its destruction of our natural law rights. The demographics have changed and the generation most scared and damaged buy the lies of yellow journalism and government lies are now leaving the scene true science will prevail.

bradmossman

They should!!!!! 7-14 people die DAILY in Florida from deadly opiates that are LEGALLY prescribed from the many pill mills . There has still never been an overdose on cannabis and its proven less addictive then caffeine, and its not the gateway drug=alcohol is and that kills 2.5 million people a year. Its time to rethink cannabis!

knowa

Why are the afraid of Floridian right to Vote. http://www.unitedforcare.org/sign_up?recruiter_id=2300

ed jenkins

As we have seen drug addicts have become worried that their supply drugs giving them temporary good feelings and hallucinations would be cut off and have come to comment in newspapers. This is among the damaging effects of allowing these dangerous illegal narcotics to be pushed on our innocent youths and the rest of society by drug dealers behind these futile efforts. The citizens do not want to have drug addicted and people wandering their society under the influence of these dangerous drugs and even worse they do not want to have to pay for the horrible health and other effects such as massive productivity declines from these illegal drugs.

knowa

Ed Jenkins your a fool do some real research into the true facts. Stop spewing these lies.

thomas jones

ed, you are as articulate as you are insightful !

Norman Gooding

Ed Jenkins ""The people of Florida would never support this attempt by drug dealers to sneak their product into our state in a somewhat legal manner harming our citizens and youth.""

Drug dealers are against any form of legalization,,why would a criminal support a law that was going to cost him some customers? Legalization takes the market off the streets,,or is it your contention no marijuana is in FLA yet?

Vincent @ PV Pro

This isn't surprising considering Florida's a southern blue state with already has huge drug problems and a declining economy. I think it's almost as a measure of added protection against criminal enterprises and added revenue streams.

Jim Heffner

This is hopeful, but now that full prohibition is on the run the hippy bashing social conservatives love that they can make it a medical issue. There's a lot more wiggle room for the obstructionists to use their nitpicking regulatory powers on medical uses compared to outright legalization. At least 10,000 years of human use without a death. False testimony to Congress to ban the herb. It never should have been prohibited. Repeal prohibition.

Shane

For the people that love it smoke it for the people that don't you don't know what your missing lol

Justin Hale

Ed Jenkins the voice of the Know Nothing Pseudo Moralistic Prohibitionist Loser.

Lauren Kasprzak

I do not support the legalization of marijuana to the generally public. HOWEVER, sufferers of chronic pain due to a diagnosis of nervous system diseases such as RSD (which has no cure), fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis and patients diagnosed with Cancer should be able to have access to medical marijuana as a treatment. Studies conducted did prove that medical marijuana significantly helps to lower pain, increase appetite and decrease nausea in patients with medical conditions such as these.

Mark M

I think everyone should lighten up on Ed. He has an opinion too you know. It might not be an opinion everyone shares but, he is entitled to it. Marijuana is scientifically a much better choice than tobacco, or alcohol, or pills. All of which are legal to buy and will lead to major illnesses and or death. Two of those, doctors will never prescribe to anyone for any illness ever. Just the simple fact that it is a drug that doctors recommend for certain illnesses should make it legal for at least that alone. Also I would like to point out to people who think that if you legalize marijuana it will flood the streets. News flash it already has. The people you talk to in everyday life already smoke pot. It's the successful people who choose it over alcohol. I also don't understand why we are ok paying the 27,375,000,000.00 dollars a year to house inmates for pot related crimes. 27 Billion dollars a year, no wonder we are in debt. Not to mention all the money we spend to enforce these ridiculous laws. Think about if they decriminalized it and let those who were punished severely for laws based on misguided information out. We could not overrun our prisons with offenders who are non-violent and would otherwise be law abiding citizens if they weren't "caught with marijuana'. We the people need to research how much money we spend a year between enforcing the marijuana laws that are in place federally and state level and the amount of money it costs us to house these so called criminals. Then think about the money you could generate by selling it from the state instead of from somebody who will never pay taxes.

Amber

I for one, think it should definitely be legalized!!! The positive outweighs the negative by a long shot! And just like any prescription in the world... of course there will be side affects! The side affects are substantially less then majority of our legal prescriptions! Not to mention (as stated above) there are no documented overdose reports, or known deaths related to marijuana! It is safe & affective! It is a natural herb from our earth! It needs no extra ingredients & does not require any altercations. what so ever! For people who use it for an illness ... this is a great alternative to pills! Also, our youth is already damaged! And its not from pot! There are many people that don't do marijuana that are even more damaged than those that do!!! Marijuana is already here! It's always been here! Now, We're just trying to say that it's ok for it to be here, and if its legal for prescription use, and it could (& will) help people ... then why not? Who's it really hurting? Not you, but the person using it! So why not give it a chance and see how it does..if it doesn't work then we just request it be revaluated & changed back to illegal.. just vote yes and consider this a probationary period! Do yalls research too ;)

Lorrie

Dear Ed (and others like him),

I'm not trying to be condensing. I respectfully ask you to consider what I'm saying. I have no agenda. I want nothing from you. Whatever is said here will probably not make a difference in this fight. So please, just consider my words.

From a young child we have been told so many lies about marijuana. I learned long ago to not just trust blindly what the government or those in charge say. I do my research. I would like to ask you to do the same.

First of all, I do not ever recommend allowing anyone under 21 access to it. 21 has been a year that we have agreed that adults can make capable decisions on everything to do with their life.

Second, alcohol is far more dangerous (health and otherwise), addictive, and has the potential to kill unlike Marijuana. It's just a fact. Don't just trust me, look objectively at the scientific evidence available online.

Third, Marijuana has beneficial health benefits.

Forth, People do not wander around drug crazed on this herb. In actuality, it causes most to become calmer and relaxed. There is not an uncontrollable urge to get the next fix.

Fifth, Seriously why are we locking up people for using this and having to let murders and rapists go because of overcrowding?

Finally, Isn't it an individual choice whether to smoke or drink? Isn't a smart and sensible person able to decide for themselves whether it is the right choice for them? Even if Cocaine or Meth or Heroine became legal today, I would not use it.

I watched my uncle suffer and die from cirrhosis of the liver from drinking alcohol. I watched someone who was seriously ill from cancer treatments finally be able to eat and keep it down because of Marijuana.

I've known people who have used Marijuana 30 years with no side effects...people who are successful business owners, church goers, and family men. You probably already know some and just don't realize it.

My husband has Parkinson's. It is incurable. There are pharmaceutical medicines to help treat the symptoms yes, but Marijuana is a herb that may help naturally treat the symptoms. He deserves a chance to try this.

Frankly, I could care less what people smoke or drink as long as they are responsible adults.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dan

Ed ,,,your just ignorant

eric g

Ed - Prohibition DOES NOT WORK. Look at history, when alcohol was made illegal, murder rates more than tripled. They legalize it and the rates drop to pre prohibition rates. This I'd also during a time when 1 out of 3 Americans was without work! You tell me how we will ever stop drug addictz from doing drugs and I will support your statement. Suprise! When we try to stop someone from doing what they want, they WILL do it!

dany

It is people like my husband and myself who truly need marijuana to be legalized I have scoliosis, depression and insomnia. It takes only a small amount and it has taken the place of 4 harmful prescription medications. my husband is epileptic and marijuana has taken the place of a prescription medication that is very harmful to the liver. I personally hope and pray that marijuana is legalized.

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