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Latest poll of Florida voters: Two-thirds favor legalizing medical pot

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The latest poll of Florida voters, undertaken by Florida Decides News 13/BayNews 9, echoes what eight previous polls dating back to last year have said: Voters by a wide margin were ready to legalize medical marijuana.

Sixty-eight percent of likely voters said they favor the availability of medicinal pot, with 69 percent of male voters saying they were confident they would vote yes, said the poll released Wednesday afternoon on the websites of News 13, out of Orlando, and BayNews 9, of Tampa.

And 67 percent of likely female voters said they were certain to vote yes on Amendment 2 in the November general election.

A referendum on the availability of medical marijuana came up two years ago, and even though 57 percent of the electorate approved of the measure, it failed because 60 percent was needed for the amendment to pass.

The News 13/BayNews9 poll said 13 percent of the respondents were uncertain which way they would vote.

The poll of 1,678 likely voters took place this past weekend, according to a story posted online, and the margin of error was plus/minus 2.3 percent.

Florida already has a law on the books that allows for medical marijuana to be grown, harvested, processed and administered to individual patients who are eligible. The product is low grade, meaning the level of THC is minimal, and has lowered, and — in most cases — no euphoric effect.

Amendment 2 expands the number of conditions with which patients suffer from being eligible for medical marijuana as well as allowing for an increase in the potency of the pot-related medication.

With a 38-year career in journalism behind him, Keith Morelli now writes about medical marijuana and the politics of pot in Florida. He began his career as a news editor with a weekly paper in Zephyrhills and his last gig was with The Tampa Tribune, which folded unceremoniously in May. While there, Morelli was general assignment reporter for the Metro section, writing a wide variety of pieces ranging from obituaries, to crime, to red tide, panthers and city government. In between those jobs, he spent nine years as a bureau chief for the Ocala Star-Banner. morellikj@gmail.com

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