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Capitol: Med Marijuana, DCF

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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 Heraldreports. 

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.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.