The 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.