POLL: St. Leo University Polling Institute Shows Majority of Floridians Support Medical Marijuana
By ALLISON NIELSEN, SUNSHINE STATE NEWS // August 25, 2016
68% Support Amendment 2
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – A poll released Thursday shows the majority of Floridians support a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, a good sign for supporters of the amendment as they make their final push to the November election.
The St. Leo University Polling Institute survey found 68 percent of likely Florida voters would support Amendment 2 on the November ballot, which would legalize medical pot for those with debilitating medical conditions.
Young voters support the amendment at a higher rate than older voters. The majority of voters under 35 — over 70 percent — said they were in favor, while the support is slightly lower among older voters.
Democrats are much more likely to vote for the amendment than Republicans, with 76 percent supporting the amendment to GOP voters’ 56 percent.
Amendment 2 made it back on the ballot this year after failing at the polls in 2014, falling just three points short of the 60 percent needed to pass.
Despite their loss, supporters of the amendment didn’t give up hope.
People United For Medical Marijuana worked to gather petition signatures to return the amendment back to the ballot, hoping to finally pass the measure the second time around. Once the petition gathered the 683,000 necessary signatures to get back on the ballot, it was game on in the race to the polls.
The petition would 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.
But medical marijuana would only be allowed for use for those with “debilitating” medical conditions, so not everyone with medical issues would be able to get a prescription for pot. Conditions covered under the amendment would 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.
Supporters of the amendment say it’s desperately needed for patients seeking relief from their painful conditions, but opponents of the measure worry it’s too risky, and say it will create a loophole allowing anyone, anywhere to get their hands on the drug.
Voters will vote on the amendment during the general election on Nov. 8.
According to the survey, the St. Leo poll was conducted online from August 14 to 18, 2016, among 1,500 adults in Florida. Of those 1,500 people contacted, 1,011 said they are likely to vote in the August primary. A larger base—1,380 people—said they are likely to vote in the presidential election on November 8. At those sample sizes, the margin of error for the responses shown in the survey is +/- 3 percentage points.