HAMDEN, CT. (970 WFLA) – A new Quinnipiac poll finds Florida voters oppose college athlete unions, but support medical and recreational marijuana.

With wide racial and age gaps, Florida voters oppose 51 – 41 percent allowing college athletes to form a union and oppose 63 – 31 percent paying salaries beyond scholarships to these athletes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Support for a college athlete union is 62 – 29 percent among Democrats, 69 – 29 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old, 76 – 22 percent among black voters and 56 – 36 percent among Hispanic voters, the independent poll finds. Men, women, Republicans, independent voters, white voters and older age groups all oppose allowing athletes to form unions. Black voters support paying salaries to college athletes 68 – 27 percent, the only listed group to support the idea.

Florida voters support 88 – 10 percent allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes, if a doctor prescribes it. Support is over 80 percent among all listed groups, including 84 – 13 percent among voters over 65 years old.

By a smaller 53 – 42 percent majority, voters support allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. There are gender, age and partisan gaps:

-Men support so-called recreational marijuana 58 – 38 percent, while women are divided, with 48 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed;

-Voters 18 to 29 years old support recreational marijuana 72 – 24 percent, with voters 30 to 64 years old in favor by smaller margins and voters over 65 years old opposed 61 – 33 percent.

-Support is 59 – 34 percent among Democrats and 61 – 36 percent among independent voters, with Republicans opposed 64 – 33 percent. 

Only 45 percent of Florida voters admit they’ve tried marijuana. Among voters 50 to 64 years old, 62 percent admit smoking pot, more than any other group.

Marijuana is equally as dangerous as alcohol, 43 percent of voters say, while 39 percent say it is less dangerous and 12 percent say it is more dangerous.

Marijuana use does not lead to the use of other drugs, voters say 54 – 38 percent. “If Vegas were giving odds on medical marijuana becoming legal in Florida, the bookies would be betting heavily,” said Brown. “With almost nine in 10 voters favoring legalization for medical purposes, and bills allowing such use advancing in the State Legislature, the odds seem pretty good Florida may join the states which already have done so.”

CLICK HERE to read more about the poll

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