Three In Four Florida Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, New Poll Finds
About three-fourths of Florida voters support legalizing marijuana possession for adult use, including strong bipartisan majorities, according to a new poll.
The survey released by the University of North Florida on Tuesday didn’t ask about where voters stood on creating a regulated system of cannabis sales, but 76 percent said they either strongly or somewhat support allowing adults to “legally possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.”
Just 20 percent said they oppose the policy change.
This marks a 12 percentage point increase in support since the last time the university polled on the issue in November 2019.
“Previous polls we conducted have shown support in the mid-60s for marijuana legalization but Floridians are now highly supportive of recreational marijuana,” Michael Binder, a political science professor who led the survey, said in a press release.
The crosstabs of the survey show majority support for legalizing cannabis possession across every demographic, including party, age, sex, race and education.
Levels of support did follow common themes, however. For example, Democrats were more favorable of possession legalization (76 percent) compared to Republicans (64 percent). Among people with no party affiliation, 90 percent back ending cannabis prohibition.
And younger people were generally for supportive of the proposal than older generations, though even a majority of those in the 65+ group still support the policy (63 percent).
The poll involved interviews with 685 registered Florida voters from February 7-20, with a +/-3.74 percentage point margin of error.
A campaign that initially planned to put legalization on Florida’s 2022 ballot announced last month that it was pivoting to 2024 as a result of challenges that activists faced, including the state Supreme Court rejecting the language of an earlier version, forcing them to go back and rewrite the petitions.
While the group filed a revised version in September and hustled to collect the required signatures, it wasn’t enough.
A separate campaign, Make It Legal Florida, also had their legalization proposal rejected by court last year. That group, which had already collected 556,049 valid signatures at the time of the court’s action, had intended to get legalization on the ballot in 2020 but shifted focus to 2022 due to restrictive signature gathering requirements. It has not publicly announced its intentions for 2024.
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A separate survey released last year found that 59 percent of Floridians back legalizing and regulating adult-use marijuana—a slim margin to get any legalization ballot measure enacted if they qualify.
Meanwhile, in the Florida legislature, a lawmaker recently introduced a bill to decriminalize all currently illicit drugs, provide avenues for relief for those with existing drug-related convictions and promote harm reduction services.
In September, the top Democrat in the Florida Senate filed a bill that would require the state to research the medical benefits of psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA.
In the background, two Democrats competing in a primary race to become the next governor of Florida are warring over who supports marijuana legalization more.
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