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Poll Finds Medical Pot Legalization Still Heavily Favored in Florida; Gov. Scott Still Not

| April 6, 2015

California is one of 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, along with the District of Columbia. (Chris Goldberg)

California is one of 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, along with the District of Columbia. (Chris Goldberg)

It’s a repeat performance of numbers that ultimately meant little when actual votes were tallied: the latest Quinnipiac University poll shows still overwhelming support for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, and still negative numbers for Gov. Rick Scott. But when voters could cast ballots on both matters last fall, they rejected a constitutional amendment proposal to legalize pot, albeit by a small margin, and they re-elected Scott, albeit by an even smaller margin.


In fairness to the pro-pot vote, 58 percent of Floridians approved legalization, a majority that in any other state would have meant that the measure would become law. Not in Florida, where constitutional amendments require a 60 percent approval margin to pass. Scott’s winning percentage–he beat Charlie Crist with 48.1 percent of the vote, to Crist’s 47.1 percent. Scott’s victory margin was the smallest for any governor going back to 2016, when Sydney Catts, whose campaign was virulently racist and anti-Catholic, won with 43 percent of the vote.

Before November’s vote, Quinnipiac and other polls had showed support for legalizing medical marijuana approaching 90 percent at times. The measure was funded by John Morgan, the Orlando attorney, and United For Care, the organization established to push the amendment. Morgan and the organization are again gathering petitions to put the issue back on the 2016 ballot. “We are preparing to get back on the ballot for 2016 and take this issue back to the voters because the elected officials are not doing their job,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United For Care, told various media last week.

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The latest Quinnipiac poll, released this morning, shows voters approving of medical marijuana by a better than 5 to 1 margin in three swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Barely 50 percent of voters turned up for the 2014 election. The 2016 electorate is expected to be much heavier, and likely swelled by more Democratic and liberal voters giving the pro-pot vote a greater chance. Quinnipiac found support for medical marijuana at 84 percent in Florida and Ohio and 88 percent in Pennsylvania.

There is also majority support for recreational marijuana in all three states: asked if adults may “legally possess small amounts for personal use,” respondents approved by margins of Support for allowing adults “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use” is 55 percent in Florida, 52 percent in Ohio and 51 percent in Pennsylvania. Supporters approve even though more than 80 percent of respondents in each state say they would not use marijuana recreationally themselves.

The same poll asked voters about Scott’s performance. Just 42 percent approve, with 49 percent disapproving and 9 percent saying they don;t know or have no answer. Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 45 percent approval rating, and Marco Rubio is at 54 percent.

The Quinnipiac poll also asked likely voters about their Senate preferences in the 2016 election. Florida Senator Marco Rubio on April 13 is expected to announce a bid for the presidency in 2016, throwing his seat up for that year’s election. Republican State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is the strongest candidate in that race, getting 38 percent, to 34 percent for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. Atwater leads another possible Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, 42-32 percent.

“If U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio runs for president, the fight for his Senate seat will be a test of relatively unknown candidates on both sides of the aisle,” Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown said. “Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has a small edge in exposure to the voters, but we have a long way to go. Whoever wins will be the candidate who does the best job introducing themselves to the voters.”

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14 Responses for “Poll Finds Medical Pot Legalization Still Heavily Favored in Florida; Gov. Scott Still Not”

  1. I need says:

    My fingernail hurts. I need medical marijuana. My big toe has a wart on it. I need medical marijuana. My ass has a rash on it. I need medical marijuana. My dog bit my ear and left a hole in it. I need medical marijuana. My arm is swollen from baseball batting practice. I need medical marijuana. My nose has hair growing in it and is blocking my view. I need medical marijuana. My leg is turning yellow from sitting on my butt all day. I need medical marijuana.

    • YankeeExPat says:

      I think you could use some Medical Marijuana!

    • Diana L says:

      I find your comment rude to the people that medically need medical marijana. If people would endeavor to abuse medical marijana, it’s up to the Dr’s. to police them, just like medical drugs. Medical marijana is a no brainer when you consider the millions that could be helped. Do you really want to take pain relief from all because some might try to abuse it?

    • FLnative says:

      I have cancer and Medical Marijuana is proven to help with shrinking tumors and hunger issues from chemo. I have PTSD and medical Marijuana can help me stay calmer and maybe take my mind off of the hell I have been through etc etc. It works both ways.

    • I wish says:

      I wish half the stoners in this state could figure out how to register to vote. Then they would have to leave the house to actually vote. If they do it will pass no problem. Unfortunately we’re just not that motivated.

  2. PhDScientist says:

    For Cancer patients, for kids suffering from Seizures, and for so many others, safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana is a matter of life and death. Its critical that Marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 immediately. Please call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President get that to happen, to protect the health and safety of Americans that need Medical Marijuana. Have everyone else you know call them too.

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research. The clinical evidence of the value of Marijuana as a life saving medicine is now so strong that the need to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 has become a moral imperative. Google Medical Marijuana testimonials. Google Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient Testimonials.

    This weekend over 3,000 Americans died, in pain, of Cancer. Every single day, 1,500 Americans die of Cancer after suffering horribly. it. Every single minute another American dies of Cancer. Every American Cancer patient deserves the right to have safe, legal, and economical access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one.

    Americans who need Medical Marijuana shouldn’t be used as “Political Footballs” Please call the Whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President take immediate action to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so American Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it.

    Oncologists have know it for more than a quarter of a Century that Marijuana is a “wonder drug” for helping Cancer patients
    .
    The American Society of Clinical Oncologists wants Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. So does the American Medical Association, the professional society of all Physicians. A strong majority of Americans want Physicians in all 50 states to be able to prescribe Medical Marijuana. So do their Physicians., Cancer patients can’t wait.

    The need to immediately, completely, legalize Marijuana throughout the world is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time, because of its medical benefits and because of the damage prohibition causes to America and to the world.

    Complete legalization is critical — its vital that there aren’t “strings” or “hoops” that Cancer patients and others who need Medical Marijuana are forced to jump through
    .
    “Charlottes web” is NOT the solution. Cancer patients and people who suffer from chronic pain need THC, not just CBD. The “Berkeley study”, where 96% of stage 4 Cancer patients who had a wide variety of Cancers achieved remission, used high dose Medical Marijuana oil, 72% THC, 28% CBD, 1 gram/day (oral) over a 90 day course of treatment. It was a small study, and not placebo controlled, but those kinds of results are clearly remarkable, have been widely reported on in the press, and demand the need for immediate large scale clinical trials.

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree about the need to end prohibition, and have formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors and Judges, from all over the world, called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.

    See http://www.leap.cc/

    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a cop.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped many Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.

    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.

    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.

    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.
    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safer alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

    • Wishful Thinking says:

      How much healthier and happy if cigarettes are made illegal and pot legal…
      Never heard of anyone having to go to a ‘stop smoking pot’ clinic or weaning off an addiction like cigarettes. We live in an insane world –

  3. Stel1776 says:

    Those who wish to live in a free society need to accept that this means freedom for all people of that society, not only for certain groups and the activities they happen to enjoy. Obviously in some cases there are extenuating circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set that precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is significantly less harmful than alcohol both to the consumer and especially to others, therefore, if we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

    Under prohibition cannabis is easily accessible to nearly anyone of any age who wants it. Even over 80% of high school seniors have reported that cannabis is “easy to get” for the last 30 years. Would we rather empower thugs and criminals, who also push hard drugs, by having them supply the 20 millions pounds of cannabis traded yearly in the U.S., or legitimate businessmen who can be easily monitored, check I.D., pay taxes, settle disputes in court rather than in streets, and follow other regulations?

    Voters must realize that:

    1) Cannabis has been unjustly demonized and is less harmful than alcohol.
    2) Cannabis prohibition has little effect on the rates of problematic usage.
    3) Prohibition causes many harms at great cost.

    A vote for cannabis legalization is to condemn a costly prohibition that causes more harm than it prevents. After 75 years it is time to re-legalize this popular substance for adult usage as well.

    Let’s end this futile attempt to eradicate a popular substance that a majority of Americans believe should be legal. This prohibition is very costly (money is only a small part of these costs), senseless, unjust, unfounded, harmful, and un-American. Please consider what the following cannabis legalization organizations have to say. Help end this prohibition by joining their mailing lists, signing their petitions and writing your legislators when they call for it.

    MPP – The Marijuana Policy Project – http://www.mpp.org
    DPA – Drug Policy Alliance – http://www.drugpolicy.org
    NORML – National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws – http://norml.org
    LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – http://www.leap.cc

  4. buylocal says:

    I guess you favor prescription drugs. How much better is that?

  5. BR549 says:

    To I Need:If any of those comments are true you need to see a doctor now.Also their are many people with serious medical problems who could obtain some help from medical marijuana and in my opinion Gov Scott will continue to get bad reviews until he can turn around this state,jobs,health care,veterans,homeless and many other issues.

  6. Chuck says:

    We need to up the stakes. With 58% approval on a pretty bad medical bill, we should spend the next year properly educating the voters and push for full medical and removal of criminal penalties for small recreational amounts.

    Shouldnt be to hard to get 60% if a solid effort is put in!

  7. snapperhead says:

    With some corruptorate support this would pass no problem. Petition Doritos and Little Debbie to help get the word out. It’s the right thing to do and would increase their bottom line when stoners get the munchies.

  8. BR549 says:

    Fl Native I feel for you and I hope that you can get the treatment you need this is one reason why this should be approved.

  9. Sherry E says:

    Consider the possibility that it actually is Big Pharma who lobbies against legalizing pot. They are strongly looking out for their bottom line and profit margin! If pot is legalized, you could “cheaply”grow it yourself and safely administer a plant that is shown to ease pain and perhaps even shrink tumors. Taking the big profits from the current drug industry and the doctors that administer them!

    Follow the money to find out who’s really “paying” for the laws that do or don’t get passed in Florida and the USA.

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