Perhaps the second time will be the charm for the medical marijuana amendment in the Sunshine State.

  • 68% would vote to legalize medical marijuana
  • 13% said they are uncertain if they would vote yes or no
  • 69% of likely male voters said they were certain they would vote yes
  • 67% of likely female voters said they were certain they would vote yes

A new, exclusive Florida Decides News 13/Bay News 9 poll reveals Florida voters are likely to pass a second attempt to legalize medical marijuana.

The poll of 1,678 likely voters conducted this past weekend found that 68 percent of all likely voters would vote in November for Amendment 2, which would change Florida’s constitution to legalize medical marijuana for "individuals with debilitating medical conditions."

In Florida, constitutional amendments require a supermajority and must get a 60 percent majority vote to be approved. The margin of error on our exclusive poll was +/- 2.3 percent, but 13 percent said they are uncertain about whether they would vote yes or no on the amendment.

In 2014, the medical marijuana amendment got the majority of votes, but it narrowly missed the required 60 percent to pass. The medical marijuana issue returned to the ballot in January, when People United for Medical Marijuana, a group led by Orlando-based attorney John Morgan, got enough petition signatures to bring it back to the ballot.

The percentage of likely voters who said they are certain to vote yes on Amendment 2 has increased by about 8 percent since a previous Florida Decides poll in March of this year. In that poll, 61 percent of all likely voters said they would vote in November for Amendment 2.

Jeff Sharkey with Florida's Medical Marijuana Business Association calls it good news but isn't surprised.

"People understand that it really does help people with significant medical conditions. So, I think the poll numbers are reflecting the irrationality that's being suggested by the opponents of Amendment 2 really doesn't make any sense," Sharkey said.

In Tallahassee, Republicans have been passing laws to regulate marijuana use by the terminally ill. Still the "No on 2" campaign says that's a far cry from what the amendment would bring to bear. "No on 2" is launching a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, arguing the amendment could open the door to California-style medical marijuana, making what they say is pot that's too easy to get.

GOP leaders at the state Capitol aren't planning to vote yes for Amendment 2, but they're preparing for a possible November passage.

"One of the benefits of building a regulatory system is so that you are not caught flat-footed," said Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island.

The argument for and against Amendment 2

Proponents: Supporters say the amendment would only give chronically and terminally ill patients access to the drug when other medications don't work.   

Opponents: They say the amendment would create several loopholes and would lead to more people, especially younger people, using marijuana for recreational purposes.

Detailed poll results

Q: On the ballot in November will be Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana for people with certain medical conditions. On Amendment 2, are you certain to vote yes, certain to vote no or not certain?

  All Gender Age Race
Male Female 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ White Black Asian/
Yes 68% 69% 67% 78% 71% 75% 53% 68% 68% 73%
No 18% 18% 19% 11% 18% 14% 27% 19% 18% 19%
Not Certain 13% 13% 14% 17% 10% 11% 20% 14% 14% 8%
Composition of likely November voters 100% 48% 52% 15% 25% 30% 30% 80% 13% 7%
  Political Affiliation
Republican Ind. lean
Independent Ind. lean
Democrat Strong
Composition of likely November voters 18% 15% 12% 9% 11% 19% 17%
Yes 46% 59% 62% 69% 82% 79% 82%
No 36% 25% 23% 15% 7% 12% 7%
Not Certain 18% 16% 14% 16% 11% 9% 11%

Surveyed: 1,678 likely November voters
Margin of sampling error: ± 2.3%

This Florida Decides Exclusive Statewide Poll was conducted by SurveyUSA from June 25-27. Research began as soon as names on the primary ballots were finalized June 24. Most interviews were completed after the results of the British vote to leave the European Union were announced. Of the 2,000 adults interviewed, 1,873 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 555 were determined by SurveyUSA to be eligible and likely to vote in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary, and 618 were determined by SurveyUSA to be eligible and likely to vote in the August 30 Republican primary. Only voters eligible and likely to vote in each primary were asked the Senate primary horse-race questions. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on their home telephone (66 percent of likely November voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (34 percent of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.