A majority of Florida voters support legalizing marijuana for adult use and expanding access to medical cannabis, according to a new poll. And as state lawmakers pursue legislation to cap THC potency of marijuana products, the survey also shows a majority of their constituents oppose the proposal.
The marijuana reform group Florida for Care commissioned the poll, which found that 59 percent of Floridians back recreational legalization, 58 percent want to expand access to medical cannabis and 58 percent are opposed to imposing restrictions on THC content in marijuana.
The survey also showed that the state’s medical cannabis program has grown in popularity over the past five years since 71 percent voters approved it via a 2016 ballot initiative. Now, 76 percent of respondents say they are supportive of allowing patients to access medical marijuana.
Much of the poll, which was first reported by Florida Politics, focused on proposals to enact THC caps—a policy widely opposed by advocates, and apparently most Floridians.
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Limiting THC is just another way for Tallahassee politicians to try and ignore the will of Florida voters,” one question asks. Sixty-one percent said they agree. And 77 percent said they agree that limiting THC content for medical cannabis “would insert the legislature into what should be a decision between a patient and physician.”
Last week, the Florida House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee approved a bill to enact a 10 percent THC cap on smokable medical cannabis and restrict THC levels to 60 percent in other marijuana products.
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Only 23 percent of respondents in the new poll said they think the legislature “cares about the wellbeing of medical marijuana patients,” compared to 53 percent who said they don’t think that’s the case. Forty percent said Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) cares about cannabis patients.
Additionally, 71 percent said they support continuing to allow patients to access smokeable cannabis products.
While Democrats and independents were generally more likely to favor marijuana reform proposals, a majority of Republicans also support providing access to medical cannabis (63 percent) and allowing smokeable marijuana products (62 percent). Most similarly agreed (71 percent) that lawmakers would be interfering in patient-doctor relationships by imposing THC limits.
Nearly half (45 percent) of Republican respondents said they back adult-use legalization—a notable figure as activists work to put a reform initiative on the state’s 2022 ballot. Advocates had collected hundreds of thousands of signatures to place the question of legalizing cannabis before voters last year, but they ultimately gave up that push due to the tight timeline to verify those signatures.
There’s typically lower turnout in midterm election years, and voters tend to skew more conservative, but the figures in this poll signal that legalization would stand a solid chance next year.
“This confirms what anybody paying attention at all knows,” Ben Pollara, executive director of Florida For Care, said. “Floridians across party lines and in huge numbers support medical marijuana, and by almost a 4-to-1 margin, people want more access to medical marijuana versus new restrictions like the THC caps the Legislature is proposing.”
The survey was conducted March 12-13 and involved interviews with 590 voters.
Meanwhile, it’s not just Florida’s legislature where THC limits are being considered. Advocates have also called on supporters to voice opposition to any federal attempt to enact such a restriction. A U.S. Senate drug caucus recently released a report on cannabis policy, and it urged federal health agencies to consider recommending a THC cap for state-legal products.
Read the full survey of Florida voters on marijuana policy below:
Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.