Florida voters back medical marijuana 9 to 1, poll finds


Marijuana plants on display for sale at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Reuters)

If the latest poll is right, it’s a safe bet that Florida will legalize medical marijuana this November.

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that 88 percent of voters support the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while 10 percent do not. Those attitudes were unchanged from May, but support was six percentage points up from November. The lowest level of support was among senior citizens, who still back the measure roughly 6 to 1. The youngest segment of voters backed it 19 to 1.

A ballot measure that would legalize the drug was narrowly approved in January, which means that voters will have the chance in just a few months to add their state to a growing number with legal medical pot, which seems likely given the poll.

Among all demographic groups, support for medical marijuana was lowest among Republicans, 80 percent of whom support legalization with 19 percent opposing.

When asked whether they would support a legal medical marijuana dispensary in their own town or city, 71 percent of voters said yes while 26 percent said no. Support for a dispensary in one’s own town was lowest among seniors, who still backed the idea 57 percent to 37 percent.

A majority of voters even supported legalizing marijuana simply for recreational use. The only demographic groups where majorities opposed the idea were Republicans and seniors. Overall support for recreational legalization was up seven percentage points from November.

There was a 23-point different in support between Democrats, who support recreational pot roughly 2 to 1, and Republicans. Support among men was 61 percent, a dozen points higher than that for women.

When asked confidentially, 44 percent said they’ve tried the drug. Seniors had the far and away lowest rates of trying pot, at 23 percent.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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