Feb 042015
 February 4, 2015

united for care florida medical marijuanaThe United for Care team almost legalized medical marijuana in Florida during the 2014 Election. The initiative failed to pass by just 2 percent. The initiative received roughly 58% of the vote, but needed 60% to pass. The campaign regrouped, tweaked some language, and is back for another push for the 2016 Election. According to a poll released yesterday, the new initiative has strong support. Per the Orlando Sentinel:

Florida voters appear ready to approve a reworked, proposed constitutional amendment if it gets on the 2016 ballot, a new poll from Gravis Marketing finds.

The Gravis survey, taken Jan 28 and 29, finds 64 percent of Florida voters would favor it. The poll has a margin of error of 4 points, so that would put it at passing, because constitutional amendments need at least 60 percent approval by voters.

“If Gravis says 64, the real number is closer to 80,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United For Care. “We are focused on passing medical marijuana this legislative session. If we have to go back on the ballot we are confident we’ll get over 60 but all my focus right now is on passing something so we don’t have to.”

As the above article I linked to touches on, the 2014 version of the initiative also led in polls prior to Election Day. However, due to a well funded reefer madness campaign by the opposition that spread misinformation, the lead dwindled. I have to assume that just as supporters are back for another election, so will opponents be back as well. But with a new and improved initiative, and a Presidential Election year that usually helps marijuana reform efforts, I’m confident that 2016 will be the year Florida legalizes medical marijuana in a meaningful way. Of course, the Florida Legislature could step up to the plate and legalize medical marijuana, but I won’t hold my breath for that.

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  7 Responses to “Poll: Strong Support For New Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative”

  1.  

    This is great news but the best thing is to call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that Marijuana be taken off of Schedule 1 immediately, especially since the Surgeon General has specifically asked that they do it — the exact quote was along the lines of “it shows promise in a number of areas and there’s a need to do more research” That’s code for “It needs to be removed from Schedule 1”

  2.  

    If the Democrats are smart they will make the 2016 election a referendum on cannabis. On the R side only Rand Paul is working that angle.

    It would be really nice if in 2016 we had the choice between anti-Prohibition Candidate (R) and anti-Prohibition Candidate (D). But if all we get is one or the other my vote is going to go to the anti-Prohibition Candidate.

    •  

      Unfortunately, I believe if the Republican candidate for President in 2016 doesn’t bring up cannabis or the drug war as an issue, then the Democrat candidate probably won’t bring it up, either. Bernie Sanders would (must be nice to be Independent), but I’m not extremely confident about his nomination.

      •  

        No way in a million years the Democrats will nominate an open Communist. It would ruin their brand for decades. Well that is assuming that they don’t want to ruin their brand for decades.

        2016 is the year of the woman on the D side. Hillary or Warren.

        Politically though Obama has pretty much ruined it for the Ds for the next 4 or 8 years.

        We won’t have any idea about the Rs for another year. Right now it is #1. Walker (15%) and #2 Paul (14%) for the Rs. But that will change as the field narrows.

        You have to consider that roughly 40 years of Prohibition has made a very large anti-government cohort which is just starting to attain power. That shows up with the House Republican contingent roughly 20% libertarian. They will vote with the Democrats for more social liberty and with the Republicans for less government spending.

        People who don’t understand Paul on vaccines don’t get it. And the message is very powerful and resonates with those who have grown up in a Prohibition regime:

        The Government Doesn’t Own Your Children

  3.  

    The supporters of medical marijuana have have changed the proposed constitutional
    amendment and want to put it back on the ballot. This new amendment clarifies that
    marijuana will only be available for people with serious illnesses and will not be
    available to minors. If the election were held today, how would you vote?
    Yes: 60.4%
    Undecided: 15.4%
    No: 24.3% 4,218 Responses, from St Pete Polls, http://stpetepolls.org/files/StPetePolls_2015_FloridaPolitics_StateGEN_February_3_CL93.pdf

  4.  

    Florida voters are all fools for allowing their state to require a 60% majority to pass a law, especially when the law that allowed this to happen did not even garnish 60% of the vote. It passed under the old 50% requirement!

    All it did was take the power away from the voters and hand it over to the politicians.

  5.  

    Pollara is right about Gravis. After the election someone got around to researching Gravis. It’s a one man operation who reports whatever you pay him to. Generally works for right wing small time politicians. To make money he has a robo calling program that calls and tries to sell your security systems. I’m not joking about the trailer. Look it up. It’s not an air stream and it’s not a Winnebago. It’s just a trailer in his Mom’s yard. There is no poll. He just makes up the numbers. His poll published by the media had support at 49% when Quinapac had it closer to 90% at that time. He helped a nasty group of prohibitionist confuse people into thinking support was falling. In Florida politics you have to allow for the 5% cheat. The votes actually came in at 3.4 million votes or 58% which means it was 63% before the notorious late votes from the panhandle part of the state. Happens every election. Watch it during the next presidential election from any state. When they announce who Florida is going for they will say they still don’t have the panhandle votes and make a joke about “running up the vote”. Those ballots come in at about 90% for or against any issue or candidate that the panhandle chooses. It’s the cast of Deliverance in the par of Florida. This election they were against medical marijuana.

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