More than 700 residents in the state of Florida were polled by UNF Public Opinion Research Lab in a recent survey. This survey comes after the state’s Supreme Court heard arguments over the resolution to allow an amendment that would restrict purchases to three ounces of cannabis on the 2024 ballot.
From the poll, 67% of registered voters would support a state constitutional amendment that permitted adults to buy and possess cannabis for personal use. Additionally, 28% were against an amendment that would allow recreational marijuana to be legalized without a license while 5% were undecided on the matter.
While the results show strong interest in the decriminalization of marijuana, the support recorded in the latest poll is lower than results from previous surveys. The Public Opinion Research Lab asked voters in the state a similar question two years in a row, with 76% voicing their support for amendment in 2022. The following year, this figure had dropped to 70%.
Professor Michael Binder, the lab’s faculty director, attributed the drop to how the question was presented to voters. In a statement, Binder explained that while prior surveys simply asked voters if they were opposed or supported the legalization of recreational cannabis, the latest survey went into details of the proposed amendment. Additional details about the amendment shared in the latest poll include that it would permit entities licensed by the state to grow and sell cannabis products and accessories. It also stipulated that the new rules wouldn’t change federal law and would only apply to state law.
Despite the slight drop, a majority of respondents in every category that was polled had a positive stance on ending prohibition. This included 77% of Democrats, 58% of independent voters and 53% of GOP members. With regard to gender, 68% and 55% of women and men respectively supported the change.
When researchers used education as a metric, they determined that 64% of respondents with college degrees and 61% of those without were also in favor of the amendment. By race, 65% of Black and White respondents were in favor of cannabis being legalized. This is quite high, especially when compared to 52% of Hispanics who were of the same opinion.
Based on age, the poll determined that 77% of respondents aged 18 to 24 years of age backed marijuana legalization, with those aged 55 to 64 years old making up 71% of those in favor of recreational legalization. Voters aged 65 years and older who supported legalization of recreational cannabis made up 56% of Floridians surveyed.
The eventual legalization of recreational cannabis in Florida will be welcomed by not only companies intending to set up shop within the state but also other industry actors such as Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) that would like to see prohibition ended in all jurisdictions around the country.
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