There has been a lot of hysteria lately concerning Florida’s Amendment 2 which would legalize medicinal marijuana for Floridians. Critics, opponents, and multiple news outlets have recently cited polls showing a lack of support for the medical marijuana amendment, but how credible is this polling data?
The highly cited Gravis Marketing says that support for the bill is only at 50% but some say the company has a questionable history. The Democratic Underground had this to say about Gravis Marketing:
“Ultimately, we believe that Gravis Marketing is the last of a long line of shady enterprises pursued by Doug Kaplan and a merry band of small-time hustlers, a band marked by the sketchy personal pasts of its individual members and a constant pursuit of the fast, and almost invariably, dishonest buck.”
One might also question who incentivized Gravis Marketing to conduct these polls. After all, nobody works for free and their advertising slogan reads, “Giving you the campaign responses and results you want.” With millions of dollars flowing in to the state from anti-marijuana billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the poll results can most certainly be bought.
Aside from over-citing a less than reputable polling firm, a closer look at the numbers shows that support for medical marijuana is polling more strongly than opponents would like to suggest.
The vote needs 60% approval by Floridians for the constitutional amendment to take place. We looked at a collection of 16 polls pertaining to the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida conducted over the last 12 months. Aggregate polling data shows that 69% of Floridians support the initiative while only 24% oppose it. Just over 6% of voters remain undecided.
Headlines stating that “Amendment 2 Is Done” are overstating the implications of each new poll. A look at the aggregate data from the last two months alone reveals that likely voters are supporting the amendment 72% to 25%. Averaging the poll results without weighting numbers based on sample size does not add up, even though some people want you to believe it does.
Whether Amendment 2 passes in Florida will be determined after November 4. In the meantime, do not believe the media hype that the bill has been defeated just yet. There are many tools for opponents of marijuana policy reform to use in order to discourage supporters of the amendment, and fooling them into thinking their votes will not count next week, is at the top of the list.
Photo Credit: commondreams.org