Poll: Floridians Overwhelmingly Approve of Medical Marijuana, Raising Minimum Wage

Just nine months after rejecting a medical marijuana amendment, Floridians overwhelmingly say they're ready to approve it in 2016. Continuing on that surprising progressive streak, most Floridians also agree that the minimum wage should be raised to at least $10.00 an hour. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the vast income inequality that plagues our community, voters in the Miami area have the strongest overall support of raising the minimum wage of all the state's large media markets. 

The new poll comes from St. Pete Polls, who just yesterday told us Donald Trump was now the Republican frontrunner in Florida. In their latest effort, they've surveyed 2,788 registered voters — though it's worth noting that their polls are all conducted through an email-based polling system, which may or may not be as accurate as traditional phone polling. 

In their latest survey, 68.2 percent of Floridians say that "if the new medical marijuana initiative makes it on to the ballot this year [they would] vote for it." 

Last year, a constitutional amendment narrowly failed at the ballot box with just 57.62 percent of Floridians voting yes. Although that's a majority, in Florida constitutional amendments must be passed by 60 percent of voters. Early polls for that amendment also showed massive support in the early run, sometimes at more than 70 percent. However, a scare campaign derailed the momentum. Several major daily newspapers throughout the state recommended voters vote "no" on the initiative, saying that the matter should be handled by the legislature instead ... despite the fact that the gerrymandered Republican-controlled legislature would absolutely not handle that matter in a wide-reaching way anytime soon. 

The backers of that initiative are now trying to get a reworked version on the ballot in time for 2016. 

Looking at the demographic breakdown of the polls, African-Americans support the amendment at 76.0 percent, the highest of any racial or ethnic group. However, support among Hispanics is only at 59.7 percent, the lowest of any group (aside from Asian-Americans though that sample size is incredibly small). 

Support is also above 70 percent in all age groups except for those 70 and over. Though support among the elderly is still at 57.8 percent. 

Media market-wise, support for pot reform is highest in University of Florida-dominated Gainesville (79.7 percent), Tampa (73.6 percent) and Miami (70.9 percent). It's lowest in the elderly Republican-dominated Fort Myers and Naples area with just 56.2 percent. 

The poll also found that 65.2 percent of Floridians are supportive of raising the minimum wage though the exact amount is still up for debate. However, raising Florida's minimum wage from the current $8.05 would apparently not be a controversial move. 

Here are the results by wage level:
I would not vote to raise the minimum wage: 29.8%
I would vote to raise the minimum wage to $10/hour: 25.3%
I would vote to raise the minimum wage to $12.50/hour: 16.9%
I would vote to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour: 23.0%
Unsure: 5.0%
Some of those who were unsure about how much they would raise the minimum wage said they'd at least vote to raise it to $10. 

Except for Gainesville, the Miami media market (which includes Broward and the Keys) had the strongest support for raising the minimum wage. Just 22 percent said they would not vote to raise the minimum wage, while 22.3 percent said they'd raise it to $10, 20.7 said they'd raise it to $12.50, and 29.2, a plurality, said they'd vote to raise it to $15. 

So hint to local Miami politicians: including wage improvement to your platform seems to be a winning move. 
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Kyle Munzenrieder