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New Florida Poll Shows Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure Winning As Campaign Releases Two New Ads

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A new poll obtained by Florida journalists this week shows that the marijuana legalization measure on the state’s ballot has a comfortable margin of support to pass in November. Meanwhile, the campaign behind the initiative released a pair of new radio ads as part of its ongoing effort to build support for the proposal.

The recent survey, reported by Florida Politics, indicates that more than 64 percent of Florida likely voters support Amendment 3. To pass, the constitutional amendment requires at least 60 percent of the votes cast in November’s election.

The local outlet reported on Wednesday that the survey it obtained was conducted among 1,065 respondents from June 26–June 29, with a margin of error of +/-2.9 percentage points, though the article did not include any further information about what firm or organization is behind it.

According to Florida Politics, the poll found that 100 percent of voters aged 18-29 say they support the cannabis legalization initiative.

Smart and Safe Florida, the campaign working to pass the ballot measure, told Marijuana Moment on Wednesday that it was not responsible for the newly reported poll.

If there’s any truth to the poll, it would be welcome news for legalization supporters, who have seen a mix of surveys in recent months—with most showing majority support for the reform but some with less than the 60 percent threshold needed to pass.

A USA Today/Ipsos poll released in April that found that 56 percent of Florida registered voters and 49 percent of Florida adults overall back the cannabis measure. And a separate Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Mainstreet Research poll found that only a 47 percent plurality of voters back the cannabis initiative, compared to 35 percent opposed and 18 percent undecided.

Another survey from May showed 58 percent support, while a separate poll from last month had the cannabis measure at 66 percent support from Florida voters.

A previous poll, released in January prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the measure onto the ballot, found that cannabis legalization had 57 percent support.

In May, meanwhile, the CEO of a top marijuana company pushed back against surveys showing the measure losing, claiming internal polling shows it ahead by a comfortable margin.

Separately, the campaign on Wednesday released two new ads feature personal injury attorney John Morgan, who backed the state’s medical marijuana law.

The ads are tied to Independence Day and Florida’s celebration of Freedom Month in July, said Smart and Safe Florida, the campaign behind the ballot measure.

“Nearly 250 years ago, our nation declared our independence,” Morgan says in an ad titled “Independence.” “Now it’s time for us to declare our independence from laws that demand jail time for simply having or consuming marijuana.”

“Our system of treating adults who consume marijuana as criminals is madness,” he continues. “Join me, John Morgan, in supporting our own declaration of independence, and vote for the people, and vote yes on Amendment 3.”

A second ad, titled “Criminal Justice,” features Morgan saying that “too many adults are sitting in our jails simply because they were using marijuana, and that is just wrong.”

“If I was your governor,” Morgan adds, “I would free or parole every person in jail for possession and then expunge everyone’s record. Amendment 3 will put a stop to this and let the cops fight real crime, not fake crime. I’m tired of people being thrown in jail for something that is less harmful than alcohol or opioids.”

Morgan Hill, campaign spokesperson for Smart and Safe Florida, said the July campaign “will remind voters that freedom means individual rights and an end to arrests and incarceration for simple marijuana possession charges.”

“We know that thousands of people are arrested every year in Florida for marijuana,” Hill said in a statement. “When Americans across the country have the right to choose to consume marijuana, it’s a disgrace that Floridians’ individual freedoms are still restricted.”

Morgan has also been outspoken about his own marijuana use, posting on social media: “Do I use #marijuana? Hell yes… Every fucking day.”

Ahead of November’s vote on marijuana, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently launched a political action committee opposing the reform. As of late last month, however, DeSantis’s “Florida Freedom Fund” had raised only $10,000 in contributions—all coming from a former Republican congressman representing Pennsylvania, campaign finance records from the Division of Elections records show.

By contrast, the legalization campaign itself had raised over $60 million—more than any cannabis ballot measure in history.

DeSantis has been railing against the marijuana measure for months—most recently arguing falsely that it would protect the right to use cannabis more strongly than the First Amendment protects free speech or the Second Amendment protects gun rights—and again claiming that the reform has been a “failed experiment” in states such as Colorado.

The governor has consistently argued that the state shouldn’t go beyond the existing medical cannabis program and that broader reform would negatively impact the quality of life for Floridians. The Florida Republican Party also formally came out against Amendment 3 last month.

Smart and Safe Florida—which for its part is funded almost exclusively by large, existing medical marijuana operators—separately announced in March that it was working to form a coalition of veterans to build voter support for the reform, and the campaign has since formally launched that initiative.

Here’s what the Smart & Safe Florida marijuana legalization initiative would accomplish:

  • Adults 21 and older could purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis for personal use. The cap for marijuana concentrates would be five grams.
  • Medical cannabis dispensaries could “acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute marijuana products and marijuana accessories to adults for personal use.”
  • The legislature would be authorized—but not required—to approve additional entities that are not currently licensed cannabis dispensaries.
  • The initiative specifies that nothing in the proposal prevents the legislature from “enacting laws that are consistent with this amendment.”
  • The amendment further clarifies that nothing about the proposal “changes federal law,” which seems to be an effort to avoid past legal challenges about misleading ballot language.
  • There are no provisions for home cultivation, expungement of prior records or social equity.
  • The measure would take effect six months following approval by voters.

Here’s the full text of the ballot title and summary:

“Allows adults 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise; allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state licensed entities, to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories. Applies to Florida law; does not change, or immunize violations of, federal law. Establishes possession limits for personal use. Allows consistent legislation. Defines terms. Provides effective date.”

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Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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Economic analysts from the Florida legislature and DeSantis’s office, estimate that the marijuana legalization initiative would generate between $195.6 million and $431.3 million in new sales tax revenue annually if voters enact it. Those figures could increase considerably if lawmakers opted to impose an additional excise tax on cannabis transactions that’s similar to the ones in place in other legalized states.

Unlike the governor, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) said in April that he does believe Florida voters will approve the legalization initiative.

Nebraska Activists Turn In Signatures To Put Medical Marijuana Legalization On The Ballot In November

Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.

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Ben Adlin, a senior editor at Marijuana Moment, has been covering cannabis and other drug policy issues professionally since 2011. He was previously a senior news editor at Leafly, an associate editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He lives in Washington State.

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