In November, more than seven in ten Floridians at the polls checked “yes” on Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Considering that Floridians would probably split 50-50 if asked whether they’d like a free, delicious cupcake,
So state legislators shouldn’t be shocked that a solid majority of the state is pretty upset with them today. Four months after that overwhelming vote, Tallahassee looks far away from passing the rules that will actually let dispensaries open up shop around the state. In fact, the first draft of those rules would make it harder than ever to get medical pot.
That’s not at all what voters asked for at the ballot box, and a new poll finds they’re less than pleased with how Tally is handling medical marijuana. The survey from GOP pollsters Fabrizio, Lee & Associates finds that a solid plurality of voters is displeased with both the legislature and Gov. Rick Scott for dawdling on medical cannabis.
The poll, which sampled 800 Floridians who cast ballots last year, finds that 40 percent disapprove of the legislature’s work so far (with 37 percent approving), and 41 percent unhappy with Scott, who gets just a 34 percent nod of approval.
“Independent voters disapprove of the Legislature’s and Governor’s efforts to implement the new medical marijuana laws by even larger margins than voters as a whole,” writes pollster Tony Fabrizio.
Among voters who cast yes ballots on Amendment 2, 57 percent said the state was moving too slowly in approving rules for medical weed; 44 percent of voters overall agreed.
The poll was paid for by Smart Medicine for Florida, a conservative-leaning group founded by former Tea Party member Brian Hughes; the group has tried to position itself as a “centrist” voice on medical weed.
Their new poll also found a nearly even split among voters about whether Florida should allow full-on recreational pot. While 60 percent of those who backed Amendment 2 say they also favor legal recreational weed, that question got approval from only 46 percent of the overall body of voters in the poll. (Around 5 percent said they were undecided on that question).
The pollsters also asked voters whether the state should limit the number of dispensaries allowed under Amendment 2 and found that 54 percent said “yes” — an interesting result somewhat undercut by the vague wording of the question, which doesn’t specify how exactly the number would be limited.
As Florida For Care’s Ben Pollara points out to Politico this morning, the state does have six months to write medical marijuana rules and nine months to implement them, so the process is relatively on track so far.
But the poll suggests there could be political pain for the GOP-run statehouse if they don’t stick to that timeline — or if they persist with rules that would actually make it harder to get the medicinal cannabis.
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