Politics

Medical Marijuana Polls Well But Has a Glass Jaw

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 5, 2014 9:30 AM
Medical marijuana

A poll released by Gravis late Tuesday finds Florida voters are close to passing a proposed state constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana use, but it also shows opposition to some aspects of it.

The poll finds 57 percent of those surveyed plan to back the proposed amendment while 31 percent say they will vote against it. Some 11 percent are undecided. The amendment needs 60 percent support in November  to pass.

Proponents of the proposed amendment, led by trial lawyer and Democratic fundraiser John Morgan, gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi challenged the proposed amendment, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled by a 4-3 decision at the end of last month to keep it on the ballot.

But the poll finds Florida voters believe medical marijuana should generally be used for more severe conditions. Only 46 percent support the use of medical marijuana for people with minor medical conditions while 39 percent oppose it. Asked whether medical marijuana should be used to treat nonserious conditions, including constant pain, menstrual cramps and anxiety, 60 percent of Florida voters opposed the idea while only 21 percent backed it. Only 26 percent of Floridians believe marijuana should be legal in all cases, while 66 oppose across-the-board legalization.

The poll does offer some hope to opponents of the proposed amendment. A majority of those surveyed -- 54 percent -- said they would oppose the medical marijuana amendment if they are convinced it violates federal law while 27 percent say they would continue to support it. Gravitas also found Florida voters could turn against the amendment if opponents play up children's access to medical marijuana.

“The current medical marijuana amendment does not differentiate between children and adults,” Gravitas told poll participants. “Children will be able to get access to medical marijuana without parental permission or without their knowledge. Knowing this, would you vote yes or no on the amendment?”

Phrased that way, 64 percent of Florida voters opposed the amendment while 26 percent supported it.

Gravitas also found the proposed amendment could be sunk by having a loophole over caregivers.

“Supporters of this amendment say that they are providing medical treatment to persons in need, but this amendment also authorizes caregivers to assist in medical marijuana use,” Gravitas told poll participants. “There are no standards for caregivers and the language would permit drug addicts, drug dealers or felons to assist in smoking pot. Knowing this, would you vote yes or no on the amendment?”

After being told this, Florida voters broke against the proposed amendment with 67 percent opposing it and 25 percent supporting it.

The poll finds a tight battle in the Florida gubernatorial contest. Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination despite spending most of his political career as a Republican and an employee of Morgan’s law firm, leads the race with 47 percent followed by Gov. Rick Scott right on his heels with 43 percent. Adrian Wyllie, the favorite to be the Libertarian nominee, gets 3 percent.

The poll also finds Bondi ahead of two Democratic rivals. Bondi takes 44 percent when matched against former DCF Secretary George Sheldon who follows with 36 percent. Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer, who is expected to be the Libertarian candidate, takes 4 percent, while 16 percent are undecided.

When matched against House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, Bondi leads by a similar margin, taking 45 percent while the Democrat garners 36 percent. Wohlsifer moves up to 6 percent; 12 percent are undecided.

The poll of 808 registered Florida voters was taken Jan. 30-31 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.


Comments (13)

flappybirdnew.com
3:43AM MAR 10TH 2014
If you twist the facts anything is possible. Poll questions like children without parents permission to obtain MM from a dispensary, What a joke! If that's the case then why not ask if children can buy whiskey from the state store. Have even read where a judge says toddlers can purchase MM. It's unfair to those in need of this medicine to make up such nonsense. Next come T.V. adds showing 1930 reefer madness in color.
kizi2s.com
3:48AM MAR 6TH 2014
Yes i agree with you.Search engines like google always give more reference and weight to dofollow comments.

Thanks for this article. I am a new blogger so this is very helpful. It’s hard to know how long it takes to make a successful blog, so “being patient” is among some of the best advice you can give. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see movement, but this give me some encouragement.
I think should not use this plant in medicine. Hopefully there will be better methods.
Thanks much.
kizi4game.com
6:14AM FEB 8TH 2014
I think should not use this plant in medicine. Hopefully there will be better methods.
Progressive_Patriot
9:30AM FEB 7TH 2014
Kevin, I can only assume that you're getting your information from the right-wing "echo chamber", because it's quite clear you don't have the faintest notion of what you're talking about. That being said, Florida voters are not listening to disinformation and conservative talking points, such as the ones you present, any more. The overwhelmingly positive response of Floridians to the petition drive should have given you a clue. In any event, the ballot initiative will easily pass the 60% threshold in November and hopefully drivel such as this, which is being thrown out now, will fade into the trashbin of history. Florida, like so many other States, will have medical marijuana laws validated to treat the sick with effectiveness and compassion...
ScottinPonteVedra
7:41AM FEB 7TH 2014
Sorry.. I clicked here thinking this was a news site. won't happen again.

You say " Listen to the People" well it's 82 - 16 in favor of legal med. ~~ This proves your site is JUST here to drum up Hate.. Fear .. and sell it to the 16% look at the side ads people -- Marijuana must be Obama's fault too. Best of luck with all of that in November
Steve
12:57AM FEB 7TH 2014
Lol... If you think this represents Florida you are very much mistaken.... Come November you will see and also the change in politicians.
Fail
8:44AM FEB 6TH 2014
This is ridiculous to use such a sample size of 808 are you kidding me Kevin Derby?Why don't you stop, think and use real poll numbers not ones that you pulled out of your ass.
Dean
8:24AM FEB 6TH 2014
How many people die every day in Florida from legal tobacco and booze? From legal opiates? People do not die from marijuana. Why does any source, including SSN assist in the GOP propaganda? Why do Florida politicians insist on lying to us? Why are they not questioned or corrected by the truthseekers, the Press? Instead, they spread the lies. Shame
Fire
5:40AM FEB 6TH 2014
The last thing anyone wants to see are 1st grade students sitting around under a tree smoking marijuana like some will have you believe. If it's true and cancer and sick patients are benefiting from medical marijuana and have a doctors excuse for it's use then vote yes. November will be here soon and we the citizens want all the facts. State of Florida has the responsibility to inform the people the truth concerning medical marijuana. Period.
Fire
5:35AM FEB 6TH 2014
20 States have legal Medical Marijuana laws and Floridians have the right to the truth how these States are doing in all phases from these States before November elections. Yes Florida and the media, report the truth and show Floridians the facts both good and bad. Just making up stories because of political party lines are dirty and unfair to our citizens.
Fire
5:27AM FEB 6TH 2014
If you twist the facts anything is possible. Poll questions like children without parents permission to obtain MM from a dispensary, What a joke! If that's the case then why not ask if children can buy whiskey from the state store. Have even read where a judge says toddlers can purchase MM. It's unfair to those in need of this medicine to make up such nonsense. Next come T.V. adds showing 1930 reefer madness in color.
matt
4:48PM FEB 5TH 2014
These aren't the polls I've been reading for the last two weeks. .....hmmm.
judson
1:02PM FEB 5TH 2014
The title should read "Kevin Derby reads well but cherry picks his facts."

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