For the first time in their polling Quinnipiac found a majority of voters in Florida think marijuana should be legal. Among registered voters in Florida, 53 percent support making it legal for adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use while only 42 percent oppose legalization.
This represents a dramatic increase in support in less than a year. When Quinnipiac last polled Florida in November of 2013 support was at only 48 percent and opposition was at 46 percent.
The opposition to legalization mainly comes from seniors citizens and Republicans who oppose it by a margin of two-to-one. The idea has strong support among Democrats, Independents, and all age groups under 65. The poll found there is no racial divide on the issue. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics all support it at nearly identical rates.
Quinnipiac also asked about medical marijuana and found 88 percent of voters support allowing the medical use of marijuana if prescribed by a doctor. This is important because the people of Florida will be voting on a medical marijuana amendment this November, but it needs to get at least 60 percent support to be adopted. Since this poll only asked a generic question about the issue and didn’t poll on the specific ballot language it is an imperfect predictor of how people will actually vote. The details can make a big difference.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy