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Politics

Floridians Say Yes to Medical Marijuana in Latest Poll

March 1, 2016 - 2:00pm

If medical marijuana were on the ballot today, Floridians would pass a constitutional amendment to legalize it, according to a new poll released Tuesday. 

The Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found 65 percent of likely voters are in favor of a state constitutional amendment to expand medical marijuana while 28 percent are opposed to the idea.

Florida is expected to vote on a medical marijuana amendment in November and would need to receive 60 percent of the vote to be adopted.

The same amendment was on the ballot in 2014, but despite polling well at the start of the election cycle, it fell short, receiving only 58 percent support. 

People United for Medical Marijuana (United For Care), a pro-medical marijuana group largely led by uber attorney John Morgan, shouldered the responsibility of collecting enough signatures to get the amendment on the ballot this year. 

United For Care’s constitutional amendment petition would allow for the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or caregiver. It would also prohibit physicians from being subject to criminal or civil liabilities under Florida law for issuing a prescription for medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana would only be allowed for use for those with “debilitating” medical conditions which would include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and for other conditions which a physician feels using medical marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks for a patient. 

As of April 2015, 23 states had legalized medical cannabis in the U.S. while seven other states had pending legislation to legalize the drug for medical use. Marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law. 

PPP's survey asked Floridians about other issues, as well.

When asked about raising the federal minimum wage, 25 percent say it should go all the way up to $15 an hour while 21 percent think it should go to $12 an hour and 30 percent think it should go to $10 an hour. But 11 percent want to keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25 while another 11 percent want to get rid of it altogether. 

The poll shows 86 percent back criminal background checks for everyone who buys a gun while 8 percent oppose the idea. 

Florida divides over President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law with 42 percent supporting it and 41 percent opposing it. 

A slim majority--51 percent--say they strongly back Obama’s call for the EPA to limit carbon output from coal plants while 18 percent are somewhat in favor of it. Ten percent say they somewhat oppose the proposal while 15 percent are strongly against it. 

As he ponders running for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, the poll shows U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has the approval of 40 percent of those surveyed while 32 percent disapprove of him. While he has been on the Florida political stage for four decades, more than a quarter of voters--28 percent--are not sure about Nelson. A third of Democrats--32 percent--are not sure about Nelson while 53 percent approve of him and 15 percent disapprove of him. With independents, Nelson does better with 44 percent approving of him and 28 percent disapproving of him. Republicans line up against Nelson with 49 percent disapproving of him and 27 percent approving of him. 

Gov. Rick Scott is upside down in the poll with 38 percent approving of him and 48 percent disapproving of him. Scott is seen as favorable by 62 percent of Republicans but 27 percent disapprove of him. More than two-third of Democrats--68 percent--disapprove of him. A third of independents--32 percent--approve of Scott while 54 percent disapprove of him. 

The poll of 1,012 registered Florida voters was taken Feb. 24-Feb. 25 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. 

 

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN.

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen

Comments

Once again, I find myself asking any of those who have doubts to PLEASE consider voting YES on 2. As a disabled veteran, I'm selfishly in favor of this thing passing. Of course, the VA will NEVER allow it to be prescribed by their own doctors because of the Federal law against any kind of marijuana, medical or other.I just prefer to be able to purchase it legally (in Florida) rather than somewhere else. I don't want the high, I just want relief. I appreciate it if you'd consider going to the polls to vote FOR it. Thanks GO TRUMP!

If you really want it legal... Bernie Sanders is your man.

Here we go again with polls every week until October 15th like last election. Polls ended up showing 88% approved of medical Marijuana then two weeks before the elections the sheriffs department came out against MM and Florida already passed MM and you need to be happy with that, you know that .05% no THC Marijuana. Then when election day came it made 57.8% approval, just enough to fail. Sorry I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now. I bet it passed over 60% and they skunked us. Same thing this election, they show pictures and all those marijuana shows from the States allowing Recreational Marijuana over and over just teasing Florida's citizens. It's a big game screwing over our citizens, yet look it's here already, all one needs to do is get with in 1000 feet of a school where all the dope pushers are and you can get some. That dirty stuff that is.

I am so sick of seeing misleading articles like this. MedJ has been legal in Florida since Feb of 2015. Shut up about it.

That's exactly what the fools said last cycle. That Florida already has medical marijuana. So, do you know anybody who is legally using Medical Cannabis? Of course not! It doesn't exist yet, and when they finally get around to letting Patients use it, only CBD, unless you are dying. Then you can use high THC Cannabis, but of course, a Patient can't smoke it. Lawmakers had their chance and stiffed Floridians for their rich buds. Time for real reform. YES on 2! ForThePatients!

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