Poll shows strong majority of Florida voters support legalized weed

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An effort to legalize “small amounts” of marijuana for recreational use has broad support among Florida voters, regardless of their party affiliation, a new poll from the University of North Florida shows.

Overall, the poll, which surveyed some 666 voters, shows 64 percent support legalization, with 33 percent opposed and 3 percent undecided.

Among Republican voters, 54 percent support legalization, with 42 percent  opposed and 5 percent undecided, the UNF poll shows.

Some 73 percent of Democrats support legalization, with 25 percent in opposed, with 1 percent undecided, the poll shows.

Among independent voters, 64 percent support legalization, with 32 percent opposed and 5 percent undecided, the poll shows.

Several groups are advancing constitutional amendments for next year’s ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana in Florida. None of those measures has collected enough voter signatures to win a place on the November 2020 general election ballot.

If the measures advance to the ballot, they would need support from at least 60 percent of the voters to become part of the state Constitution.

Supporters of the Make It Legal Florida initiative drive, which would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 or older, noted the new poll is one in a series of recent polls showing public support for legalization.

“Support continues to grow for the Make it Legal Florida ballot initiative and we remain confident on our ability to make Florida’s ballot,” said Nick Hansen, chairman of the campaign. “Voters are being vocal about what they want and we look forward to continuing the momentum to bring adults in Florida access to cannabis.”

Although the Make It Legal Florida campaign has announced it has collected over 100,000 voter signatures, the state Division of Elections shows only 17,784 validated signatures as of Thursday. The campaign will need to collect at least 766,200 signatures by Feb. 1 in order to win a place on next year’s ballot.

Another legalization effort from Sensible Florida has collected 91,849 signatures, according to state elections records. The proposed amendment would legalize recreational marijuana and regulate it like alcohol sales.

The UNF poll was conducted from Oct. 14-20 and its overall results had a margin of error of 3.8 percent.