With Florida’s November general election a little less than six months over the horizon, the people have spoken—and their voices appear to getting louder, the latest poll numbers show.
The recent spike in support, United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara said in an email, has made it difficult for Florida lawmakers to ignore the fact that public opinion wants doctors and their patients—not the suits in office—to dictate what treatment options are available to fight serious illnesses.
“With every passing day it becomes more evident that Floridians are ever more aware of the indisputable medicinal value of marijuana, and they are ready to take politicians out of the equation when it comes to decisions that should only belong to physicians and their patients,” Pollara exclusively told ForThePeople.com. “Seeing people’s growing compassion for those who could benefit from the use of medical marijuana has been one of our greatest satisfactions.”
United For Care’s mission for the immediate future, Pollara added, is clear, and one that will take an entire community of like-minded voters to bring to fruition.
“Our job now is to make sure everyone understands exactly what is at stake, and translate that sense of solidarity into a massive showing at the polls on November 4th,” Pollara said. “In order to accomplish this, we will reach out to our fellow Floridians in every possible way, both personally and through the various media outlets, to make sure they can make an informed decision on Amendment 2 this coming November 4th.”
According to the results of a poll conducted by the Pew Research Survey Center published by News-Press.com, support for the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida transcends political affiliations and age demographics. Even further, a Quinnipiac University poll published on May 5 supports this revelation, saying that while Floridians solidly oppose another hot-button topic—the issue of collegiate athletes unionizing and being paid employee wages—they overwhelmingly support the legalization of medical marijuana, with nearly 90 percent of those who participated in the survey voicing a pro opinion.
While such optimistic numbers alone could lead those involved in a lesser cause to rest on their laurels, Pollara knows that what United For Care has accomplished thus far means nothing if the final polling numbers fail to pass the amendment come November.
“We have made extraordinary strides so far, and we are on track for even greater accomplishments,” Pollara said. “In the end, however, every effort of this kind will only be judged by the final results at the polls, and that’s what we will be completely focused on until the very last day.”
In short, the people of Florida are ready for medical marijuana. And the face of the Florida medical marijuana initiative, John Morgan, feels these new polling numbers are not just a step, but a leap in the right direction for patients with serious health conditions.
“A year ago, the governor said he would never support any form of medical marijuana. He’s going to,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s comments came in reference to the bill passed by the Florida House of Representatives recently that legalized a strain of marijuana with low-THC levels—dubbed “Charlotte’s Web”—for use by children who suffer from conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. The passing of this bill, Morgan continued, will help the already-rolling medical marijuana campaign gather even more steam heading into the summer months.
“One of the biggest arguments has been marijuana should never be given to children,” Morgan said. “This is only about children, primarily. A year ago, we couldn’t even have a discussion. Now we’ve got law. It’s going to happen.”
In his email to ForThePeople.com, Pollara echoed Morgan’s statements, saying, “The recent passage of SB1030 for the use of the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain of marijuana was a significant step forward, not only because it will help tens of thousands of patients, but because it signals that Tallahassee agrees with the vast majority of Floridians who understand that marijuana IS medicine.”
To this point, both sides of the initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state have taken to television, the Internet, and radio in support of their views. While medical marijuana’s opponents are certainly vocal, Pollara trusts the people of Florida to make their own decisions based on the facts, not on which side can shout the loudest.
“We expected there to be vigorous opposition to our efforts from those who are less informed about the true medicinal value of this plant,” Pollara said, adding that decades of “misinformation and prejudice” have not necessarily helped the case for medical marijuana. “Ultimately, I believe the overwhelming majority of voters will agree that this measure simply makes sense.”