A poll released Thursday by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) found that 67% of respondents planned to vote ‘yes’ on the proposed ballot question to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state, with 28% opposed.
The proposal was supported by 78% of Democrats polled, 55% of Republicans, and 69% of those affiliated with a third party or with no party affiliation, along with majorities from all age groups, and other demographics.
The organization had found 70% support for the reforms in the spring and 76% support in the spring of 2022; however, in those polls, the question was posed more broadly. In a statement, Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and professor of political science, noted that in previous surveys, PORL “simply asked if folks support or oppose legalization of recreational marijuana,” but this time respondents were asked about “the specifics of this proposed amendment.”
“Yet again, it looks like it has a good chance of passing, if the measure makes it through the courts, and that is a very big ‘if’.” — Binder in a press release
The state Supreme Court heard arguments on the ballot question last month but seemed poised to allow the measure to appear on ballots next year. State Attorney General Ashley Moody argued that the initiative’s wording is misleading and violates the single-subject rule on ballot questions. During a hearing on the issue, Justice Charles T. Canady said he was “baffled” by the argument laid out by Chief Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Paul DeSousa of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, which claimed that the initiative will make voters believe that approving the measure will protect Floridians from federal cannabis law violations. Canady responded to this argument by pointing to the 74-word initiative, which explicitly says the provisions of the constitutional amendment “Applies to Florida law; does not change, or immunize violations of, federal law.”
Chief Justice Carlos G. Muniz pointed out that while the measure would legalize cannabis and authorize current medical cannabis operators to sell products directly to adults, he didn’t see how those two provisions are “not directly connected” and, therefore, a single subject.
Canady added that Moody’s office was “turning the single-subject requirement not into anything other than a straitjacket on the people.”
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