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Health News Florida

Capitol: Med Marijuana, DCF

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

A legislator who sponsored a bill to drug test Florida welfare recipients supports legalizing a strain of medical marijuana.  Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, wrote that he will support a measure to legalize “Charlotte’s Web,” an oil form of marijuana found to help treat children with severe seizures, the Bradenton Herald reports. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz, chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, “stunned” supporters last week with his support. The Miami Herald reported that Gaetz, R-Shalimar, went door to door in the predominantly Republican district over the weekend, and discovered overwhelming support for this form of medical marijuana that helps reduce pain, but offers little “high” associated with the drug.

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday reiterated he wants to add $31 million more to the Department of Children & Families budget. The money would allow DCF to hire more than 400 additional investigators, according to the Miami Herald.  The announcement comes following a year’s worth of horror stories in which dozens of children on DCF’s radar have died.

Also, Senate and House committees both passed measures addressing sexually violent predators.  Sen. Eleanor Sobel, chair of the Senate’s Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, said the bills would better by plugging in holes in the current Sexually Violent Predator Program, according to the Miami Herald.