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Medical marijuana initiative could help Democrats in governor's race | News

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Medical marijuana initiative could help Democrats in governor's race

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Governor Rick Scott does not support legalized medical marijuana, but gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Nan Rich do.

That much we know.

What is unknown is how much this one issue will help the Democrats come November.

A statewide poll taken last year by StPetePolls.org found 73.5% of registered voters in Florida support legalizing medical marijuana.

Support jumps to more than 80% among Democrats.

But the polling found a majority of Republicans, 59%, support legalizing marijuana too and among Independents, support is at its highest at 81.6%.

Which brings us back to the governor's race.

"Historically Democrats don't do so well in these off year elections, the non-presidential years," explained Creative Loafing Political Editor Mitch Perry.

But Perry goes on to say the initiative could help Democrats with that problem by fueling voter-turnout.

"What we see empirically is that young people do seem to come out for these initiatives whether its medical marijuana or pure legalization as you had in Colorado a few years ago."

Polling also suggests that may be the case in Florida as well as StPetePolls.org found nearly 85% of 18-to-29-year-olds in the Sunshine State support medical marijuana.

It's a plus for Democrats, there's no doubt about it," Perry added.

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