A new poll out yesterday, October 8, 2015, by Quinnipiac University, found that 87 percent of Florida voters support legalizing medical marijuana (cannabis). As for re-legalizing cannabis for personal use by adults, Floridians offer 51 percent support, nine percent short of what is needed for the Constitutional amendment being promoted through Jodi James’ Floridians for Freedom. It would appear a majority of Floridians agree with Libertarians on at least this one issue.
Many Florida counties and municipalities have been essentially decriminalizing the plant this year as Floridians realize the “Reefer Madness” style propaganda has been just that, government promoted propaganda. Broward County will conduct its final hearing next month to treat cannabis possession similar to that of receiving a traffic ticket. Palm Beach County Commissioners will discuss a similar proposal on October 20, 2015, for unincorporated areas of the county. Several municipalities in Florida have already passed ordinances encouraging their police forces to focus their resources on crimes with actual victims, rather than the victimless “crime” of marijuana use and possession.
Earlier this month a former Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF), Dana Moxley Cummings, did an analysis of the five proposals currently being considered in Florida to re-legalize cannabis in some form. The LPF has not yet come out in favor of any of the initiatives and is expected to weigh in next year after seeing which proposal is expected to be on the ballot in the November 2016 general election.
The three most likely proposal to make it onto the November 2016 ballot include one to expand medical marijuana in Florida, one to allow anyone over 21 years old to use and grow the plant as they wish and the third is to regulate marijuana much like Florida regulates wine. The medical marijuana proposal is being put forth by United for Care and would allow Floridians who need cannabis for medical purposes to do so without fear of going to jail. It would be prescribed by a doctor and treated as medicine, which it is. The proposal to re-legalize cannabis for anyone over 21 years old is a proposal by Floridians for Freedom would enable Floridians to not only use cannabis for medical purposes but also for recreational purposes. The regulate marijuana like alcohol initiative was written by former Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Attorney General, Bill Wohlsifer. It would do what it says and is backed by Sensible Florida, Inc.
Support among younger voters, 18 to 34 years old comes in at 66 percent. According to the poll, 65 percent of Florida voters would not use marijuana if it became legal once again, but support others right to use the plant.
“The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough. In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the State Constitution,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said.