Majority of Floridians favor medical marijuana

medical-marijuana-in-jars florida hbtv hemp beach tvA Quinnipiac University poll is out on the Florida governor’s race and other issues, including the question of whether to legalize marijuana for doctor prescribed medical purposes. It showed 82 percent of voters supporting a ballot initiative that would legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, with 16 percent opposed. While that gap could also close, its very existence could alter a potential campaign about the issue. “I don’t know with that kind of number that the opponents are going to be eager to spend millions fighting it,” said Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Meanwhile, in the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it’s not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida’s governor’s race. “To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates,” said Brown, assistant director of the survey. The good news for former Gov. Charlie Crist, a longtime Republican now running as a Democrat for his old job, is that he still has a seven-point lead against current Gov. Rick Scott — with Crist getting the support of 47 percent of those polled to 40 percent for Scott. The good news for Scott is that the gap between the two in Quinnipiac’s March poll was 16 points.

The survey, which was conducted from Nov. 12 to 17, has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. To be sure, there are still troubling numbers for Scott beyond the poll’s top-line figures. Scott’s job approval rating remains underwater, with 47 percent of Floridians disapproving and 42 percent approving — though it should be pointed out that Scott’s approval rating was once 29 percent. The governor’s personal favorability rating is only 39 percent, three points below his unfavorable rating, with less than a year before voters head to the polls.

And just 37 percent of voters say the governor deserves to be re-elected, with 53 percent saying he doesn’t — a sentiment shared by 56 percent of independents. “Basically, the only argument for his ability to bounce back from that is, he has $100 million,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic political consultant. Schale advises Crist but stressed he was not speaking for the campaign.

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