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Poll: Medical Marijuana Support Points to Fla. Bill's Passage

Poll: Medical Marijuana Support Points to Fla. Bill's Passage

By Christina Breitbeil - July 28, 2014

A new survey shows Florida voters overwhelmingly support medical marijuana use, prompting the pollster to say a referendum to legalize that usage will almost certainly pass in November.

The lowest level of support for legalizing marijuana for health purposes was among Republicans, who nonetheless favored it by a huge margin: 80 percent to 19 percent. Overall, Floridians favor legalization by 88 percent to 10 percent. The poll, released by Quinnipiac University, also indicated support among voters for personal or recreational use of marijuana, although by a smaller margin of 55 percent to 41 percent.

Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll, said the survey indicates that Florida can’t be characterized as simply a bastion of conservative retirees. "Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks living out their golden years playing canasta and golf," he said. "Almost nine-in-ten Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana. … These numbers make a strong bet the referendum is likely to pass."

As for recreational usage, wide gender and age gaps emerged.  Voters in the 18-29 age range favor recreational use by 72 percent to 25 percent, but those older than 65 oppose it by 59 percent to 36 percent. Similarly, men support recreational marijuana, 61-36, while women are more split on the issue, showing narrow support at 49-45 percent.

The proposal to legalize medical marijuana must meet a 60 percent threshold in November, but the survey suggests it will clear that bar.

The poll, conducted July 17-21, sampled 1,251 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. 

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Christina Breitbeil

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