Support for Medical Marijuana Soaring in Florida

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 28, 2014 6:20 AM
Medical marijuana
A poll released Monday morning from Quinnipiac University found overwhelming support for more medical marijuana use in Florida. The poll shows 88 percent of Florida voters support the legalization of medical marijuana while only 10 percent oppose it. 

In November, Floridians will vote on Amendment 2, a proposed state Constitution amendment allowing more medical marijuana use in the Sunshine State. For it to pass, Amendment 2 needs 60 percent support.
The poll finds voters of all ages support medical marijuana use with voters under 30 offering the most support as 95 percent of them back it and only 5 percent of them oppose it. Voters older than 65 are the most likely to oppose medical marijuana but even they are overwhelmingly in its corner. The poll finds 83 percent of voters older than 65 back medical marijuana while only 13 percent oppose it.

"Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks living out their golden years playing canasta and golf," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, on Monday. "Almost nine-in-10 Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana and a small majority says adults should be able to possess small amounts of the drug for recreational purposes.

"Even though a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, on the ballot this November, must meet a 60 percent threshold, these numbers make a strong bet the referendum is likely to pass," said Brown.

Voters of all stripes support medical marijuana legalization, with 94 percent of Democrats, 89 percent of independents and 80 percent of Republicans behind it.

But, even as the polls shows voters back more medical marijuana options, it also finds they are much more divided when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. A majority of those surveyed -- 55 percent -- support legalizing marijuana for recreational use and 41 percent oppose it.

"As the Quinnipiac University poll has found in other states, men support recreational marijuana more than women and of course young voters support it more than older voters," Brown said. 

As Brown noted, there is a major gender gap on this issue as men break 61 percent to 36 percent in support of recreational marijuana legalization while women back it by a much more narrow margin, 49 percent to 45 percent. There is also a pronounced difference on age with 72 percent of voters under 30 supporting it and a majority of seniors -- 59 percent -- opposing it.

Recreational marijuana also leads to a sharp partisan divide. Democrats back legalizing recreational marijuana 64 percent to 32 percent while independents support it 55 percent to 40 percent. A majority of Republicans -- 56 percent -- oppose recreational marijuana legalization while 41 percent support it.

A solid majority of those surveyed -- 71 percent -- support marijuana dispensaries being opened in their town if medical marijuana is legalized while a quarter -- 26 percent -- oppose the idea.

Asked if they have ever tried marijuana, 44 percent of those surveyed admit they have, including a majority of men -- 51 percent -- and 39 percent of women.

The poll of 1,251 Florida registered voters was taken from July 17-21 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (27)

6:20PM AUG 11TH 2014
I'm afraid the situation is not as rosy as it seems. Big business is running the show on Amendment 2 in Florida. The lucky few that will be licensed to open a dispensary will have spent nearly a half million dollars required to secure the growing, processing and distribution facilities not counting the $5 MILLION performance bond that is also required by the state. This will force all dispensaries to justify high prices, estimated to be $350 - $400 per ounce simply so they can support the massive infrastructures that the state demands. United For Care is leading the charge and they have not included any provisions which which would allow patients who are supposedly the main beneficiaries of medical marijuana, to grow their own at a fraction of the cost.

Sunshine State News help us, Floridian individuals who stand to benefit from the plant medically, bring attention to this issue and start a petition drive that would add the right to grow medical marijuana for personal use and the right to assist others in growing their own medicine to Article X Section 29 in Florida.

Hugh Yonn
7:38AM JUL 29TH 2014
The only thing that could kill Amendment 2 is voter apathy.
With the majority of the polls calling it a 'done deal,' please don't depend on the 'other guy's vote'...if you can still vote, please go to the polls.
I lost my right to vote with a marijuana conviction. Change the law before it happens to you...
Vote 'yes' on 2...please...
Rhnda Drass
2:56PM JUL 28TH 2014
I wonder if such a high number of voters would support the legalization of medical marijuana if they knew two facts: 1 the active ingredient has been available in pill form for many years....(but that is not the form in which these people want to use it) and 2. In states like California and Colorado where it is legal the average age of these "deathly ill patients" is between 20 and 29. Their main complaint: back pain. (Hard to disprove, and they know it.) This is a bogus issue as far as I can see.
David Annis
11:40PM JUL 28TH 2014
Why do you care?? Are you worried that you might be hit by a stoned driver?? Other than that how does it affect you personally?? Marijuana is not drug, crack, heroin and meth are drugs, oh yeah and alcohol which has been legal before and after prohibition for centuries and has probably killed more people than all the wars of the world. But it is legal, do you back making alcohol illegal?? How about you just keep your square ass home on election day and let people have a chance at using marijuana to ease their pain.
Luke Cage
6:58PM JUL 28TH 2014
1. Wrong. What is in pill form is a poor substitute and pales in comparison to the actual plant. Also, why should BIG Pharmacy get richer when the working class could easily grow their own medicine? Why aren't people that brew their own beer or make their own wine regulated?
2. Wrong again. You are being subjective w/ yr bogus "deathly ill pain" straw man. Back pain IS very real and debilitating. Not everyone has some rare disease but EVERYONE has a back. People's ages couldn't be less relevant even tho its obvious that yr hope is to smear younger people as "just wanting to get high".
What's bogus is yr claims and yr sight. If you COULD in fact see, you'd see that what others do w/ their own bodies while harming no one is NOBODY'S business but their own. Now can you see THAT?
4:57PM JUL 28TH 2014
# 1 Those so called pill form is not what you think and doesn't help with those that need real Medical marijuana.
# 2 When were you the educated guru on California and Colorado where in both state Medical Marijuana is legal but only Colorado where Marijuana is legal for any purpose you choose, the way it should be.
Seems to me the Government has done nothing but lie to the American Citizen when it comes to Marijuana. We are learning the medical benefits but not from the government. They still want us to believe in the reefer madness theory. Marijuana is big business with the war on drugs, for the government and illegal drug dealers. If it wasn't so profitable why do you think it's so plentiful under prohibition. Vote yes on 2 this November and give someone in need a chance and a choice.
Ben Murk
1:39PM JUL 28TH 2014
I'm going to vote yes. It's the right thing to do. My uncle is addicted to Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, for depression. If he doesn't take it he will have seizures and will loose cognitive function. One time he didn't take his medicine and wandered the streets dehydrated without knowing what happened. Yet this medicine is given out like candy to so many citizens even though it's so dangerous. He will not smoke pot though because it's "illegal" and like so many Floridians he's deceived by the media of the potential benefits. Not only can legal medical marijuana help him get off these dangerous drugs, but it is also a lot less expensive! Vote yes on 2!!!
Judy Flynn
10:42AM JUL 28TH 2014
Please vote yes on 2. Though I am one of those people that even the smell of Marijuana makes me ill ( the same happens with garlic) it was put on this earth for a reason. That reason is to help people with chronic illnesses. Like my daughter has (crohn's). The medication she is taking is more likely to cause cancer and other problems. This is much safer then anything the drug companies have ever come up with!
Claudia LeFevre-Lowry
10:41AM JUL 28TH 2014
While I would support medical marijuana I can not support this bill. It is simply too open ended to be good for Floridians. There is no parental consent required so any kid can decide a headache is enough to ask for relief via this drug and a "doctor" that is cooperative. We are trading Pill mills for Pot Shops!
David Annis
11:49PM JUL 28TH 2014
Yeah great point. NOT!! Pill mills dispense deadly medicine that is LEGAL to prescribe. Do you know what the number one selling drug Purdue makes: Oxycontin! They make billions off of it and the government allows it to happen because it is big money. How many people have died from marijuana, answer is none. Not one recorded case ever. So I ask, which would you rather have legal, Marijuana or heroin? If you don't want to support marijuana fine, but don't vote against it and deny people access to medicine that will ease their suffering. Please vote YES on 2!!
Luke Cage
8:01PM JUL 28TH 2014
Why shouldn't kids be able to be healed as well? Are they second class citizens? Are they less deserving of well being than other people? You are operating under the erroneous assumption that all forms of cannabis get people high. Ridiculous. Even if it did, so what? Kids today take pills that make them loopy or drowsy and sometimes even kill them but you seem to be very comfortable with that. Trading pill mills for CANNABIS NOT "pot" shops would be a GOOD thing. Why act like it wouldn't? You need to get over yr irrational fears re: cannabis. You've been watching too many govt propaganda commercials "This is yr brain on drugs..." crap instead of learning the facts, that prescription pills kill almost half a MILLION people in the US annually. Why is it OK for people to die form BIG Pharmacy garbage instead of people MAYBE feeling a little high w/ ZERO negative side effects? Are you into eugenics or something?
12:32PM JUL 28TH 2014
How do you know what is good for me?

I live in Florida as well, and I was unaware that there are people like yourself that profess to know what is good for others, let alone the entire State of Florida.

Do you not feel others are able to make their own decisions?

Your comment reads like a copy-paste. And it also appears that you either didn't read the article, didn't believe the article, or simply just copy pasted a memo provided those that oppose .
David Annis
11:53PM JUL 28TH 2014
No one is saying what is good for you. This is not a communist country, nobody is going to force you to smoke marijuana, we live in a free country and people should have the right to smoke pot if they feel like and not have to feel like a criminal. Make sense if you are going to post a comment please. Thanks
Rhonda Drass
3:04PM JUL 28TH 2014
Aren't you just a little concerned about sharing the road with people who might be impaired from smoking marijuana? How about the fact that this kind of drug makes young people loose their ambition and has been shown to be a gateway drug to harder, more dangerous drugs? It would be extremely naïve to believe that a sick, elderly person's marijuana is going to be so closely monitored that his grandson wouldn't have access to it. Why not use the pill form, if they are so sick?
David Annis
11:59PM JUL 28TH 2014
Wow, do you not realize that you could be hit and killed by a drunk driver. People are going to get high and use drugs, that is why drugs exist, because there is a demand there will always be a supply. People are prescribed medication everyday that can impair their ability to drive so if you are scared then I recommend staying at home. And since you have probably never smoked marijuana in your life, it actually opens your mind and can be used to help ideas flourish from your mind. And if the sick old mans grandson is going to be tempted to steal grandpas pot, then he will just get it from a local drug dealer. If they want to try pot, they will find it. And then lets say the kid gets busted buying pot and now his future is tarnished and he might be labeled as a criminal and then he might become a criminal and then go to prison. Then you will be paying for his meals. So think before you vote yes on 2!!
Luke Cage
8:09PM JUL 28TH 2014
Aren't you concerned enough to do yr research instead of making up ridiculous debunked hypotheticals? It is NOT a fact that young people lose, not "loose" their ambition (How did Michael Phelps win MULTIPLE gold medals in the Olympics?) and the REAL gateway to hard drugs is alcohol. get it right. Its extremely naive to think that young people today don't already smoke cannabis. All this does is stop making criminals of otherwise law abiding good people and it stops funding the ruthless Mexican drug cartels and whoever else brings it over. People don't use the pill form because its crap, has negative side effects and costs money. Maybe you can tell us what gives you or the STATE the right to tell me what I can and cannot put into my own body, as long as I'm not hurting anyone? Because for the life of me, I don't care what you or the STATE think. A Maxim of Law is "Necessity knows no law". Also, why are you happy making BIG Pharmacy richer when people can grow their medicine on their own?
3:19PM JUL 28TH 2014
We share the road with people that drink alcohol. I know for a fact that Marijuana does not mess me up nearly as bad as alcohol. Read a book. Know the subject before you talk about it.
lynn boostedt
12:15PM JUL 28TH 2014
It has to be recommended by a registered doctor . read the law. don't trust the media. And only with a parents consent. More kids die from otc drugs then the history of canaibis. The proof is out there but does no good when ignored. MMJ will be legal in November. Any bets?
Mike L
11:38AM JUL 28TH 2014
I believe most educated FL citizens would gladly trade Pill Mills for Pot Shops. Pot is much safer and has never killed anyone This is a no-brainer, yes on 2 is the way to go.
lynn boostedt
10:32AM JUL 28TH 2014
Polls are not votes. Vote for compassion. Vote yes on 2.
9:59AM JUL 28TH 2014
The anti-MM folks are going crazy. Lies, half-truths and propaganda have been their "stock in trade". Yet after all of their hypocrisy, support increases. Thank you Floridians. I am a patient who wants a safer alternative to the highly addictive narcotics I am currently limited to. Please Vote YES on 2. For The Patients! Thank you
lynn boostedt
10:35AM JUL 28TH 2014
With you! When this passes your quality of life will improve.
lynn boostedt
10:28AM JUL 28TH 2014
The pharma drugs will kill me in time. Cannabis would increase my chance at life. I HAVE read the pros and cons. GIVE ME a chance Vote yes on 2.
9:46AM JUL 28TH 2014
While all the sheriff's and the Attorney General and the local DA's spend our tax money to tell us that we are wrong. There is a debate this week in Manatee County featuring the Jordan's the those from above departments. They charge the taxpayer for travel costs, perdium and expenses, vote them out of office at the first opportunity. They would have you believe that an ALS survivor (one of a kind) is just a miraculous fluke instead of that cannibis is what keeps her alive. They fear more that after medical cannibis doesn't do anything but good that we will then put on the Constitutional amendment to legalize it 100%, then you take away a huge source of business for enforcement, judiciary and incarceration. You become their enemy instead of a person.
lynn boostedt
10:29AM JUL 28TH 2014
8:48AM JUL 28TH 2014
This is great news! However, don't let it get you comfortable and complacent with it passing! We NEED EVERYONE to get out to VOTE YES on #2!

Looking to work in the Florida Medical Cannabis Industry? Check out HempStaff, we will match the right employees and employers in the industry!
8:47AM JUL 28TH 2014
This is great news! However, don't let it get you comfortable and complacent with it passing! We NEED EVERYONE to get out to VOTE YES on #2!

Looking to work in the Florida Medical Cannabis Industry? Check out HempStaff, we will match the right employees and employers in the industry!

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