Support for Medical Marijuana Shrinks in Florida

Support for medical marijuana in Florida has tightened in recent weeks as the November election appears.

Marijuana BudsVoters will decide Nov. 4 whether to legalize medial pot for patients with certain severe health problems. Polls in the past showed support for the idea topped 88 percent.

But at least one recent survey suggests support has dropped somewhat. The poll, by SurveyUSA, found just 53 percent of Floridians support medical weed while 32 percent oppose it and 15 percent are undecided. The initiative needs a vote of at least 60 percent to pass.

It’s not clear if there were differences in methodology between this and earlier polls. As an election nears, pollsters typically switch from questioning registered voters to questioning “likely” voters.

These people are usually older, whiter, and more conservative than registered voters. It only makes sense support would shrink if SurveyUSA polled only likely voters in its latest survey.

“I live in reality, and it will obviously tighten up between now and Election Day,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager of the group behind the petition.

That organization, United for Care, was launched by Orlando personal injury lawyer John Morgan. He has poured millions of dollars into the campaign, which he said was inspired by the effect medical marijuana had on his dad and brother.

Supporters of the initiative said their internal polling shows about 69 percent of voters still back medical weed.

Both sides launched new ad campaigns in early October. Pollara said he and Morgan plan to campaign across the state by bus.

Get-out-the-vote rallies in Orlando will focus on the city’s African-American community, with other rallies in Tampa, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Miami Gardens.

The opposition camp is now running a series of ads that attempt to scare voters away from medical pot.

florida-medical marijuana“Amendment 2 isn’t what it seems,” a threatening voice says in one. “Its caregiver provision gives legal protection to marijuana dealers. Even felons and drug dealers could be caregivers. They don’t call it the Drug Dealer Protection Act, but they should.”

These claims are simply false, and have been proven so time and again. The ballot initiative in no way legalizes recreational pot, and it does not, as its opponents claim, allow patients to possess an unlimited supply of pot.

Supporters of medical weed quickly fired back, airing a soothing ad: “Voting yes on 2 will allow doctors to recommend the medicine they feel would ease the pain and suffering of thousands of sick Floridians. Vote yes on 2 and trust our doctors to decide what’s best.”

About Brian Ellis

With 6 years' experience in business journalism, Brian is the person we turn to for anything related to the business of cannabis. His news coverage spans topics including marijuana business and finance. Brian's work features on marijuanareferral.com, marijuanamerchantaccount.com and marijuanainsuranceagent.com.