A big majority of Florida residents support the legalization of medical marijuana, according to a new survey from a Republican pollster. According to the poll, 57 percent of Floridians would back such a move.
The news comes just as there is a serious movement to bring the issue to the Florida ballot in 2012, reports Bob Norman at our Village Voice Media sister blog, the Broward Palm Beach New Times. Under Florida’s election rules, such a referendum would require 60 percent of voters to approve before it became law.
In the poll, 800 voters were asked the question, “If there was a Constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes only when prescribed by a practicing physician and the election were held today, would you vote Yes to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes or No to stop it?”
Of those responding, 41 percent said they would definitely vote yes, while 17 percent said they would probably vote yes. Only 31 percent said they would definitely vote no on medical marijuana.
Interestingly, and counter to poll results from states like California, Florida women are taking the lead on the issue. Women were slightly more supportive of the measure (58 percent) than men ( 56 percent).
White voters, at 59 percent, and Hispanic voters, at 58 percent, were slightly more likely to support medical marijuana than black voters, who still approved by a majority at 55 percent.
Democrats were more supportive than any other political group, with a full two-thirds(!) of Democratic respondents (67 percent) supporting medical marijuana. Only 44 percent of Republicans supported the measure, while Independents, at 63 percent, were almost as approving of medicinal cannabis as Democrats.
More than three-quarters of those self-identifying as “liberal” supported medical marijuana (77 percent), moderates were 65 percent in favor, and only 40 percent of conservatives supported it.
A majority of every single age group supported medical marijuana. The most support came in the 18 to 24 age bracket, with 79 percent support. Even the least supportive age groups — 65+_ and 35-44 — supported medicinal cannabis, both at 53 percent.
The most pot-friendy town in Florida appeared to be West Palm Beach, where a whopping 73 percent of residents approve of medical marijuana. The most anti-pot city in the state was Jacksonville, which had only 41 percent support and 44 percent opposing medicinal cannabis.
The poll was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, the same firm that conducted polls for Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign.