New Poll: Florida Republicans Overwhelmingly Favor Legalizing Medical Cannabis
A new poll released by the Miami Herald and commissioned by the state Republican Party has found that 78% of Florida voters that reside in Republican-controlled Senate districts favor the legalization of medical cannabis, a move they’ll have the opportunity to vote on this November through a citizens initiative put forth by the organization United for Care.
The poll – conducted by the Tarrance Group – found 65% of respondents to be in favor of reducing prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders (with 28% opposed), and 78% (to 15%) to be in support of prison-diversion programs for those convicted of nonviolent drug-related crimes.
It was also found that 47% favor outright legalization, with 48% opposed.
Such strong support for medical cannabis is vital, as United for Care’s initiative – now officially titled Amendment 2 – needs to garner 60% of the votes this November to pass into law, given that it’s a constitutional amendment. However, opposition forces are vastly underfunded compared to the millions that United for Care is planning to pay for ad-space.
According to the Miami Herald, the state’s incumbent governor – who opposes medical cannabis legalization – may end up helping the initiative.
“In an ironic twist, the most high-profile opponent of medical marijuana — Gov. Rick Scott — could indirectly and unintentionally help the proposed amendment, strategists say.”
They explain; “To win reelection, Scott’s campaign is likely to trigger a mammoth $150 million TV ad war, which could reduce the supply of available commercial advertising time, drive up the price of commercials and therefore make it tougher for outgunned anti-drug crusaders to get out their message.”
“In an environment such as that, message-penetration can be challenging for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money,” says Kyle Roberts, president of Virginia-based Smart Media Group, one of the nation’s premier political ad-buying firms.
United for Care is planning to spend over $10 million on ads in the coming weeks and months; attorney John Morgan, founder of the organization (and former fundraiser for President Obama), is also planning to swap out some of the $20 million worth of ads he purchases annually for his law firm, replacing them with ads for his organization’s initiative.
Those wanting to learn more about this initiative should click here.