The amendment to legalize medical marijuana received over 60 percent in every congressional and every Senate district in Florida, despite politicians' reservations over the drug, a new analysis shows.
The new precinct analysis commissioned by pro-medical group Florida for Care showed widespread support for the amendment, which legalizes medical marijuana for patients with “debilitating” conditions in the Sunshine State.
Amendment 2 passed with over the required 60 percent support in every single Congressional and Florida Senate district and in 118 of 120 Florida House districts.
The only House districts where the amendment did not reach 60 percent were HD 110 and 111, which cover parts of west Miami.
On a county level, Amendment 2 also received over 60 percent support in a large majority of the state, reaching that number in 63 of 67 counties.
The proposal saw strong support in South Florida, where voters overwhelmingly supported it. CD22, which covers Palm Beach County, saw the highest level of support for the amendment, with 77 percent voting in favor of it.
Statewide, 71 percent of voters supported the measure.
"The breadth and consistency of these numbers across disparate and diverse parts of the state truly shows the mandate voters gave this law,” said Sean Phillippi, of TLE Analytics, the firm which conducted the poll. “Amendment 2's was not a regional or even metropolitan victory. Florida voters writ large said 'yes' to medical marijuana."
Voters were not deterred by political candidates’ criticisms of medical pot, either. In fact, in some districts, like medical marijuana district opponent Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s CD 23, voters supported Amendment 2 by a 3-1 margin, 75-25.
That trend continued on a Senate level. The Florida Senate district with the highest support for Amendment 2, at a little over 78 percent was SD 19, now represented by Darryl Rouson, who has criticized medical marijuana in the past.
In 2014, Rouson appeared at a Sarasota Tiger Bay meeting and expressed his reservations over the amendment.
“The message is already being sent that this is a harmless drug,” said Rouson at the time.
Amendment 2 will legalize medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions which 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.
The measure will 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 has technically been legal in Florida since 2014 after state lawmakers legalized the low-THC "Charlotte's Web" strain for patients with epilepsy, but its prescription numbers have been limited in Florida.
Dispensaries began to pop up around the state over the summer. Trulieve, the first dispensary to open its doors to the public, has two medical pot shops open already and plans six more around the state in the next few months.
When the amendment passed, People United for Medical Marijuana campaign director Ben Pollara praised the results, saying it was ushering in a new era of much-needed relief for suffering patients.
“This is a gigantic deal for the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who will benefit very, very soon,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager for People United for Medical Marijuana said in Orlando, said when the amendment passed. “This is a gigantic deal for moving medical marijuana forward, for proving that marijuana is medicine.”