A new poll shows the vast majority of Florida voters support medical marijuana – more than enough to make it official in the November election.
A survey by Quinnipiac University, released in early May, found a whopping 88 percent of the state’s voters approve of MMJ. The issue is on the ballot this year, and a 60 percent vote is required for it to become law.
“If Vegas were giving odds on medical marijuana becoming legal in Florida, the bookies would be betting heavily,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll. “With almost nine in 10 voters favoring legalization for medical purposes, and bills allowing such use advancing in the state legislature, the odds seem pretty good Florida may join the states which already have done so.”
State lawmakers recently passed a bill that would legalize a limited form of medical marijuana. Known as CBD oil, this cannabis extract is used to treat children with severe forms of epilepsy. It’s high in CBD, a chemical thought to quiet seizure activity in the brain, and low in THC, the chemical that gets pot users high.
Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has said he would sign that legislation. But it probably won’t matter in the end, as full MMJ is likely to pass in November.
The Quinnipiac poll showed more than 80 percent of voters in every age group support medical weed, including older voters, who are typically the most reticent. Eighty-four percent of voters over age 65 said they back MMJ in Florida.
The issue draws strong bipartisan support. Ninety-three percent of Democrats favor medical pot, along with 80 percent of Republicans.
In addition, 53 percent of Florida voters support full legalization of marijuana for adults over 21. That’s roughly in line with results from national surveys.
This isn’t the first poll to demonstrate strong support for medical marijuana in Florida. Others have routinely found more than 70 percent of voters back MMJ and want to see it become legal.
Orlando personal injury lawyer John Morgan sponsored the medical cannabis initiative on the ballot in November. He funded the campaign to get it before voters almost single handedly.
Morgan’s law partner is Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor. Crist is running to retake the office from Scott, this time as a Democrat. State Republicans have complained that the MMJ initiative is just a stunt to get more votes for Crist, an allegation Morgan and Crist deny.