By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Super-majorities of voters believe that medical cannabis should be legal, and most men additionally support legalizing marijuana for all adults, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University Swing State poll.
Pollsters gauged support for marijuana law reform in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Florida voters backed legalizing cannabis therapy by a margin of 87 percent to 12 percent. A majority of male voters (57 percent) also supported broader legalization, while only 49 percent of women agreed.
Reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for a pair of potential ballot drives in 2016. The first, backed by United For Care, seeks to permit the physician-authorized use of cannabis. The second effort, sponsored by Regulate Florida and NORML of Florida, seeks to regulate the plant's production, consumption, and sales to adults.
A 2014 amendment that sought to permit cannabis therapy garnered 58 percent of vote --- two percent shy of the threshold necessary for passage in Florida.
Ninety percent of Ohio voters say that marijuana should be legal for medicinal purposes. Fifty-nine percent of male voters additionally backed legalizing the plant for social use versus only 47 percent of female voters.
Ohio voters will decide this November on a proposed ballot measure (Issue 3, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment) to regulate the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis for both medical and retail purposes. The measure also permits adults to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis (up to four plants yielding no more than 8 ounces of usable product at any one time) at home. State lawmakers opposed to the plan have placed a competing measure, Issue 2, on the November ballot that seeks to prohibit state regulators from permitting the limited production of "any Schedule I controlled substance." If voters approved both measures, Issue 2 states that the "entire proposed constitutional [marijuana] amendment shall not take effect."
In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of voters back medicalizing marijuana. Fifty-two percent of men also support legalization, versus 43 percent of women voters.
Senate lawmakers this year approved compromised medical marijuana legislation, but the measure remains stalled in the House. Separate senate legislation, Senate Bill 528, to permit the adult possession and retail sale of marijuana has not yet been heard by lawmakers.