Florida governor’s race may be swayed by marijuana vote

Indications of just how potent the marijuana issue has become, some believe the governor’s race in Florida may actually tilt the race in favor of former governor Charlie Crist who switched parties and will be running as a Democrat.   About a million Floridians have signed a petition calling for the legalization of medical marijuana and a recent state Supreme Court decision has approved a constitutional amendment allowing the medical use of pot to appear on the ballot in November.
As reported by Bloomberg News,  even Republican operatives are alarmed by the prospect: “It’s an issue that the Democrats can use to pump up the youth vote,” said Alex Patton, a Republican political consultant “The politics of it are dangerous for the GOP”.   He went on to say that the marijuana initiative was “extremely well calculated” and said it could be a “game changer” for the 2014 election, offsetting the advantage Florida Republicans usually have in years with no presidential race.
Medical Marijuana is proving to be a “wedge issue that works in favor of Democrats: “It’s clear Democrats are very supportive and Republicans are split down the middle on this, but independents are overwhelmingly in support of medical marijuana,”  according to State Sen. Jeff Clemens, a Democrat from Lake Worth.
A spokesman for Crist downplayed the impact the marijuana initiative may have on turnout but that the issue will benefit Crist by highlighting his compassion for people suffering from disease.  A spokeswoman for current governor Rick Scott declined to say whether he supports the initiative and only said that the governor “does not support illegal drug use.”



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