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Majority of Florida Voters Supports Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Plant

In November, voters in Florida will be voting on a referendum on whether or not to legalize marijuana for medicinal uses, but a new poll indicates that a majority of Floridians support full legalization already:

A majority of Florida voters support legalization of recreational marijuana, a new poll says.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday, 55 percent of Florida voters back legal possession of small amounts of recreational pot, compared with 41 percent who oppose it.

The results show a split along generational lines, something also reflected in national numbers. Florida voters under 30 are the most supportive of legalization, with 72 percent favoring legalization of small amounts of recreational marijuana and 25 percent opposing. Fifty-nine percent of Floridian voters 65 and older oppose legalization, while 36 support it.

The results show a split along generational lines, something also reflected in national numbers. Florida voters under 30 are the most supportive of legalization, with 72 percent favoring legalization of small amounts of recreational marijuana and 25 percent opposing. Fifty-nine percent of Floridian voters 65 and older oppose legalization, while 36 support it.

These numbers are consistent with those we’ve seen nationwide and suggest that, as we’ve same-sex marriage, we have crossed something of a political Rubicon when it comes to marijuana legalization. It may take time, likely more time than same-sex marriage since the courts really have no role in the matter like they do in the marriage debate, but it would seem that legalization is coming sooner rather than later.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    I find it humorous that the U.S. is going to legalize pot at about the same time that the Democrats push through a basic monthly income. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_07/the_basic_universal_income_get051379.php

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What do you think that will do to the status of our two-party state? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  3. Tillman says:

    @superdestroyer: Yes, we’ll subsidize a vast under-society of stoned losers. We’ll have a bunch of people at cocktail parties and balls dressed in finery funding people who feel just as great as they do (perhaps better) because they are stoned. Going off the felicific calculus, that’s technically a win?

    Imagine it, SD: a future full of people who can’t get good jobs, only menial, low-wage jobs that require government support to even make it by. Crushing bills! Stagnant growth! And the average man ignored by the system! At least he can toke some and still feel good about things. Who knows, in his THC stupor he might even come up with solutions to some of his problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  4. Frank says:

    @Tillman:
    Our society is already ran by stoned hypocrites. 11% over age 12 take a mind-altering antidepressant daily, 23% of women age 40-59 take a mind-altering antidepressant. Of the 200+ countries in the world, the US ingests 80% of the worlds prescribed opioid drugs and 99% of the worlds vicodin, in fact your state in particular is well known for its prescribed drug epidemic. And consider this, THE #1 LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATH IS PRESCRIPTION DRUG OVERDOSE. Much of the point is switching from these drugs of death to a plant that promotes life. Furthermore, the majority of people working in the cannabis industry use cannabis themselves, so if you want LESS of them BUILDING YOUR HOUSES, COOKING AND SERVING YOU FOOD, or even representing you as your lawyer or treating you as your doctor, then ALLOW THEM TO WORK IN THIS LEGIT INDUSTRY AND heal those with deadly siezures, cancer, HIV, MS, Chronic pain, depression, anxiety and the stress of being forced to live with the uttterly-ignorant-useful-idiot-robots of our society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Tillman says:

    @Frank: Dude, take a look at my avatar-picture-thing in the righthand corner and ask yourself which side of this debate you think I’m on. :)

    Of the 200+ countries in the world, the US ingests 80% of the worlds prescribed opioid drugs and 99% of the worlds vicodin, in fact your state in particular is well known for its prescribed drug epidemic.

    Ah, but not as well-known as West Virginia in that respect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. mantis says:

    @superdestroyer:

    t about the same time that the Democrats push through a basic monthly income.

    Push through what? The Internet tubes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  7. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    I think the courts will ultimately play a role at the state level. At some point, a person in WA or CO is going to sue an employer over a THC positive drug test, and the whole testing scheme will come under a microscope where it will be revealed too many blanket tests are issued, all in the name “liability defense,” over a substance that is not booze, not even aspirin, and the state’s voters have said “enough.”

    The lawsuits will be based first on medical weed prescriptions vs employer demands. When employer gets between person and doctor, employer will lose. The Jenga tower collapses thereafter.

    Further, the testers themselves are hold-overs from the Brainwashed Era as regards marijuana. They will parrot whatever they were taught.

    Only the courts will force those who currently benefit from the insane war on drugs to acknowledge we live in a different future now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. rudderpedals says:

    In that Florida’s a one party state (Tea) any meaningful change is going to come from the grassroots as a citizens initiative constitutional amendment that has to carry 60% to make it. I don’t see the Charlotte’s pot bill as meaningful; it’s a huge buzzkill actually. See http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/charlottes-web-marijuana-strain-who-will-grow-dispense-it/2188402

    I agree with SD that one party rule is a problem given the party in control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. James Pearce says:

    I think the courts will ultimately play a role at the state level. At some point, a person in WA or CO is going to sue an employer over a THC positive drug test, and the whole testing scheme will come under a microscope where it will be revealed too many blanket tests are issued, all in the name “liability defense,” over a substance that is not booze, not even aspirin, and the state’s voters have said “enough.”

    If so, I think the courts will ultimately find for the drug testing scheme. They give wide leeway to employers over things that could affect performance, like weed.

    That said, I think many employers, in a legal weed environment, will start to resist insurance company demands to test their employees as a cost-saving measure, and that in some industries, the insurance companies will relent.

    Some…but not all.

    I think best bet is to say if weed is legal, you still might lose your job over it (just as you would for booze). But at least you won’t go to jail, and that’s a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    I think much of the change in public opinion on marijuana is do to the fact that more and more people realize that the prohibition is expensive, financially and socially, and it hasn’t worked any better than the prohibition of alcohol did. Here in Oregon I can get illegal weed anytime I want. Since Oregon has legalized medical marijuana if I go to the right doctor I can also get legal marijuana for just about any condition if I’ve got the hundred dollars to pay the doctor bill.
    Keep in mind that the real reason they repealed prohibition of alcohol was that the federal, state and local governments needed the tax revenues and will eventually see the same thing with marijuana.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    “over things that could affect performance, like weed.”

    Regrettably, there is no universal test for this. Because of the many strains, ingestion methods, and wide range of tolerances, there is unlikely to ever be an objective test. Further, weed stays in the system for far longer than alcohol, though the acute symptoms have long since gone. A hair test is all it takes.

    So, what are we really testing for? The Old Thinking appears to be users are either “sick” (prescription) or “stoners” e.g. those who “drink irresponsibly.” As we evolve through this debate, we still rely over-much, IMHO, on words of exclusion.

    I know many, many users. I wouldn’t think twice about jumping in a car and letting them drive. The mythology is layered, and fortunes depend on belief in it.

    “If so, I think the courts will ultimately find for the drug testing scheme. ”

    In this, sadly, we agree. One also predicts it has a shelf life of 10 – 12 more years at most.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. Tillman says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA: Blanket drug testing before hiring or randomized drug testing to detect it might disappear, but I doubt drug testing after an accident will. Further, with legalized weed, we could see new innovation in drug testing science that can detect if someone is impaired by the drug versus just having remnants in their system from off-hour toking.

    I recall reading about a test that used sweat which could differentiate an actively-stoned person from someone who partakes but hasn’t recently.

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  13. superdestroyer says:

    @Tillman:

    If you have the read the book Brave New World, you would recognize what you have written. In a world where the top 20% of the population are competing for the few, top positions that will pay enough to enjoy what we know think of as a middle class life style, something will have to be done for the rest. It seems like the idea of putting people on the dole while legalizing drugs is in the lead for how people will deal with the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “If you have the read the book Brave New World”

    Brave New World.
    Animal Farm.
    1984.
    Atlas Shrugged.

    Why is it that no right-winger is able to reference a book other than ones that everyone reads in high school?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. Tillman says:

    @superdestroyer: Well they sure as hell can’t raise taxes on rich people!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. Franklin says:

    @wr: Mmm, none of those were assigned in *my* high school. And personally I’ve only read two of them, and just coincidentally the third one is waiting at the nightstand for its turn right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. rudderpedals says:

    @Franklin: Similar here. Science Fiction was an elective in HS and 1984 and BNW were on the list (as were Failsafe and a Samuel Delaney masterpiece (Triton I think?) and Being There). Shakespeare, Existential literature and French Women authors were course names and took up the balance of the Jr/Sr HS years. No Rand until the Junior year in college for a management science elective still seems appropriate.

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  18. James Pearce says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA:

    Regrettably, there is no universal test for this. Because of the many strains, ingestion methods, and wide range of tolerances, there is unlikely to ever be an objective test.

    This is true, but I do think there are certain industries where, even with no objective way to determine impairment, interested parties would prefer their workers did not indulge at all. And by “interested parties,” I don’t just mean the insurance companies and the legal counsel, but also the customers.

    I’m okay with a system that says airlines can test their pilots, say, or that fracking companies can test their big rig drivers. (There’s a lot of slosh, I hear.) That same system will be less concerned about testing the guy who makes my lunch or takes my ticket at the movie theater.

    At least one would hope.

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