A majority of Florida seniors support medical marijuana, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday. The survey found 51 percent of Florida voters supported legalizing personal use of marijuana, while 45 percent were against.
But support for the recreational use of marijuana is divided along gender and age lines. “Men are more likely than women to support legalization of marijuana for recreational use,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement. Not surprisingly, support for the change is linked to age. But Florida seniors support medical marijuana over it’s recreational use, and many believe they will be a determining factor on whether or not this measure passes.
Support for medical marijuana legalization was nearly across the board, however. “Only about one in 10 voters opposes legalizing marijuana for medical purposes,” Brown said. But he also cautioned that overwhelming support in a poll does not necessarily mean Florida will soon see medical marijuana’s legalization.
Florida has seen efforts fail in the past. A 57 percent majority of voters backed a 2014 medical marijuana legalization proposal called Amendment 2. But it was not enough to meet the supermajority requirement for the ballot to pass.
The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough, however. In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the State Constitution. Floridians for Freedom has begun collecting petitions from voters to legalize marijuana through a state constitutional amendment. Meanwhile, a group called United for Care is also attempting the task for the second time.
For the amendment to pass it needs 683,149 verified signatures from Florida voters and then the aforementioned 60 percent supermajority. United for Care, seemingly the better organized of the two efforts, has already collected some 600,000 signatures. The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,173 Florida voters through phone calls to get its results, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
Four states — Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska — and Washington, D.C., have passed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. Twenty-three states have legalized medical marijuana.