TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Floridians really, really support the legalization of medical marijuana, according to a poll released Monday morning. The poll found that 88% of Florida voters approve of medical marijuana, including 83% of voters age 65 and older and 95% of those between 18 and 29.
The support also crosses party lines, the poll by Quinnipiac University found. 80% of Republicans — whose level of support was the lowest of any subgroup — back the idea and just 19% oppose it
“Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks
living out their golden years playing canasta and golf,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said in a prepared statement accompanying the results. “Almost nine in 10 Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana and a small majority says adults should be able to possess small amounts of the drug for recreational purposes.”
The overwhelming support should cheer backers of a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow doctors to order marijuana for patients. Opponents of the measure have pumped at least $3 million into efforts to defeat Amendment 2, which has received heavy financial backing from Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan,
“Even though a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, on the ballot this November, must meet a 60% threshold, these numbers make a strong bet the referendum is likely to pass,” Brown said.
Florida voters also support allowing recreational marijuana by a 55% to 41% margin
, but men and women are split on the issue, the poll found. Men support allowing Floridians “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use” by 61% to 36% while women are more skeptical, with 49% approving and 45% opposed. Young voters support the idea by a 72% to 25% margin, while voters 65 and older are opposed by a margin of 59% to 36%.
The survey also found that 71% of voters would support having a medical marijuana dispensary in the town where they live. The lowest level of support for having a dispensary in their neighborhoods comes from voters over age 65, with 57% in favor and 37% opposed. “No ‘Not in My Backyard’ mentality here
. By an almost 3-to-1 majority, Florida voters would allow a medical marijuana dispensary near where they live,” Brown said.
And the poll found that 44% of Florida voters say they have tried pot, including 51% of men, 39% of women and 48% of voters ages 18 to 29. Just 23% of voters over 65 say they’ve tried marijuana.