TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The majority of Floridians support legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, according to a new University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll.
The UNF poll found 70% of 1,452 people surveyed would “strongly” or “somewhat” support a measure allowing people over the age of 21 to buy a small amount of marijuana for personal use. 29% of respondents said they would either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose the amendment.
Floridians could get the chance to vote on legalizing marijuana in 2024. The “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana” initiative cleared its first legal hurdle last month when supporters collected enough valid signatures to qualify for a judicial and financial impact review. The results of the review are pending.
However, cannabis advocates and supporters of the measure have a long way to go until it appears on the ballot. As of March 9, election officials have validated less than half of the 891,589 valid signatures required to appear on the 2024 ballot.
Filed in August 2022 by the Smart & Safe Florida PAC, the measure is nearly entirely funded by Trulieve, a multi-state cannabis company that operates over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida.
“If it makes it onto the ballot next year, and that’s a big ‘if,’ it has a good chance of reaching the 60% supermajority needed to pass,” Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and professor of political science said.
Florida’s medical marijuana program was created through a ballot measure in 2018. The most recent attempt at getting recreational marijuana on the ballot was thwarted in 2021, when a Florida judge ruled the language of the amendment was too vague.
Amending Florida’s constitution via ballot measure is likely the easiest route, but it isn’t the only way. On March 3, Sen. Victor Torres filed a 135-page bill in the Florida Senate aiming to legalize marijuana for adult use. Due to the current legislative makeup, it’s unclear how likely the bill is to pass.