JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A recent poll from the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida shows that a majority of likely voters in both parities are in favor of Florida Constitutional Amendment 2.
The UNF statewide poll conducted between Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 showed that 77 percent of the 668 likely voters who were polled would vote for the amendment in the November general election. Eighteen percent indicated that they would vote against it.
“Huge Majorities of likely voters support Florida Constitutional Amendment 2,” said Dr. Michael Binder. “Not only are Democrats wildly supportive, but even Republicans are above the 60 percent threshold required for passage.”
Amendment 2, which pertains to the medicinal use of marijuana, was narrowly defeated during the 2014 midterm election. Receiving 57.6 percent, the vote was just shy of the required 60 percent supermajority needed for constitutional amendments in Florida.
The language on this year’s ballot is identical to that of 2014’s, but some slight proposal clarifications have been made in an effort to alleviate any concern. For example, the term “debilitating,” has been further defined in regards to what type of illness would qualify an individual for medicinal marijuana.
When asked, “Which comes closest to your view on the use of marijuana by adults,” 45 percent of those who were polled said it should be legal strictly for medicinal purposes. Forty percent agreed that it should be legal for recreational use, while just 15 percent said it shouldn’t be legal in any capacity.
According to the UNF poll, those between the age of 25 and 34 showed the most favoritism towards Amendment 2. The second highest age group of likely voters was 18 to 24, followed by 45 to 55. Twenty-four percent of likely voters age 65 or older were against Amendment 2. Interestingly enough, this age group also showed the highest percentage of uncertainty in regards to the amendment.
“In 2014, a last minute opposition media campaign was credited with sinking a similar amendment causing it to narrowly fail,” said Binder. “However, it appears that this time around voters are on the verge of legalizing medicinal marijuana in the State of Florida.”
As Binder mentioned, 65 percent of registered Republican voters who were polled are in favor of Florida Constitutional Amendment 2, while 28 percent are against it. To no surprise, the highest favoritism was seen among Democrats at 87 percent, followed closely by NPA (no party affiliation) at 83 percent. It should be noted that the party with the highest percentage of uncertainty in regards to the amendment was seen among Republicans at seven percent.
The margin of error for this UNF poll was plus/minus 3.8 percentage points. The likely voters involved in this poll were those who had voted in a statewide election between Nov. 2008 and March 2016 or were too young to vote in 2014 but are now eligible.