MIAMI
01/28/2014 10:02 am ET Updated Jan 28, 2014

Charlie Crist On Medical Marijuana In Florida: 'I Will Vote For It'

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05:  Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist stands at the podium during a walkthrough during day two of
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05: Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist stands at the podium during a walkthrough during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC that will run through September 7, will nominate U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist (D) said he will vote for a November constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

"This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida," Crist said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. "I will vote for it."

Polls show the ballot initiative is extremely popular -- and could help unseat Republican incumbent Rick Scott. 82 percent of Floridians support the amendment, according to a survey late last year by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, including 70 percent of registered Republicans.

Scott, who has consistently suffered some of the lowest approval ratings among current U.S. governors, spoke out against the measure after the Florida Supreme Court confirmed an advocacy group had collected enough signatures to make the ballot. His previous effort to block the initiative failed.

“I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative. But, having seen the terrible affects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it," Scott said in a statement. "No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide.”

Luke Johnson contributed to this story.

HuffPost

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