The latest Quinnipiac University polling numbers show what some have already known for months: Florida voters overwhelmingly support the legalization of medical marijuana.
Detailed online by the Orlando Sentinel, the numbers reveal that Florida voters across all ages and demographics stand behind United For Care and John Morgan’s compassionate initiative by a nine-to-one margin.
Specifically, 95 percent of voters between ages 18 and 29 and 83 percent of voters age 65 and older said they support the legalization of medical marijuana.
A more in-depth look at the polling numbers, which were collected from more than 1,000 voters in July and released on July 28, show 88 percent of voters are in favor of voting “Yes” on Amendment 2 come the state’s November 4 general election. Specifically, 95 percent of voters between ages 18 and 29 and, to the surprise of the initiative’s opponents, 83 percent of voters age 65 and older—a group that some experts say stands to benefit the most should Amendment 2 be put into law—said they support the legalization of medical marijuana.
According to assistant Quinnipiac University polling director Peter Brown, polling results like these go far beyond the usual typecast notions of how the opinions of different demographics tend to sway.
“Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks living out their golden years playing canasta and golf,” Brown said. “Almost nine-in-ten Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana and a small majority says adults should be able to possess small amounts of the drug for recreational purposes.”
In a message on the group’s website last week, United For Care campaign director Ben Pollara said that it’s clear to everyone that legalizing marijuana for use by those with serious illnesses is not a contentious or political issue. It’s just the right thing to do.
“It’s another reminder that this issue remains uncontroversial for the vast majority of Floridians,” Pollara said. “The fact is most people agree that sick individuals should be able to follow their doctors’ orders without having to live like a criminal.”
Pollara added that the Quinnipiac poll numbers go much further than simply quantifying the state-wide support of the medical marijuana initiative. The results, according to Pollara, show the opposition to Amendment 2 may have more work to put in than they previously believed when it comes to combating the facts available to Florida’s compassionate voters.
“This poll clearly shows that the disingenuous arguments being put forth by organizations like Drug Free Florida and the Florida Sheriffs Association are not following Florida’s voters,” Pollara said. “Floridians understand this is an issue of compassion, and they are ready to put these kinds of health care decisions where they belong: in the hands of patients and their doctors, not politicians.”
John Morgan, whose face and generous contributions have been crucial to the campaign’s success, attributes the favorable Quinnipiac numbers to the compassion of his fellow Floridians, who he says just want what’s right for those who are suffering.
“People do not want those who are terminally ill or debilitatingly ill to be arrested and locked up for trying to get better or for trying to get peace . . .,” Morgan told the Associated Press, adding that he feels his monetary contributions to United For Care’s cause were “well spent because we’ve educated people, they’ve listened, and they’ve believed.”