“An addiction to opiates can and will kill. An addiction to medical cannabis will not.”

BY: - April 9, 2019

Florida has an opioid crisis. In 2017, the state had 6,178 opioid-related deaths. That represents 17 Floridians dying every day. And it was an 8 percent increase over the prior year, according to the annual report from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith had an idea about helping those Floridians struggling […]

Florida's surgeon general

Will Florida’s new surgeon general survive all the scrutiny?

BY: - April 8, 2019

A week after appointing a new surgeon general for Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to stem the bad press over the pick, even as the state Senate has decided to postpone confirmation hearings. The governor’s office late Friday released a series of positive letters about Dr. Scott Rivkees, who was appointed April 1 as […]

State Ag Commissioner: Don’t mess with medical marijuana potency

BY: - April 8, 2019

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says Floridians with debilitating diseases may suffer if state lawmakers tamper with smokable medical marijuana’s potency. The Florida House is advancing a bill that limits the level of tetrahydrocannabinol – the chemical agent that causes the high – to no more than 10 percent in whole-flower products. It would take effect […]

The battles over abortion haven’t abated in Florida

BY: - April 8, 2019

(Updated) Abortion rights activists plan to swarm the state Capitol on Monday, hoping to stave off what one progressive website says “could be the end of any abortion access in the South” if lawmakers have their way. Just a few days earlier, anti-abortion activists were rallying on the steps of the old Historic Capitol, criticizing […]

U.S. Rep. Castor promises solutions at climate committee’s first hearing; Young activists get involved

BY: - April 5, 2019

WASHINGTON  — Several young climate activists on Thursday chastised all three branches of the federal government for not acting aggressively to address the growing threat of global warming. At the first hearing of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Aji Piper, an 18-year-old from Seattle who has sued the federal government for not […]

Mary Mayhew

State Medicaid director Mary Mayhew getting bashed as senators consider her confirmation

BY: - April 5, 2019

Mary Mayhew’s quest to be confirmed as Florida’s new Medicaid director is facing intense criticism and sharp questioning over her past as a health care leader in Maine. Although her nomination as head of the state Agency for Health Care Administration advanced Thursday in a divided vote, Mayhew had to explain a federal audit that […]

Violence Against Women

U.S. House passes revamped Violence Against Women Act; Two GOP Reps from FL stand with Dems

BY: - April 4, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Thursday voted to renew and expand legislation that aids victims of domestic violence, setting the stage for a battle in the Senate. House lawmakers voted 263-158 to reauthorize the 1994 legislation that funds programs such as rape crisis centers, shelters and legal services to victims of domestic abuse. House […]

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz

Matt Gaetz has a climate plan. And it’s not what you’d expect

BY: - April 4, 2019

WASHINGTON– Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican firebrand who has drawn the ire of liberals during his short tenure in Congress, is picking a fight with the GOP on climate change. On Wednesday, the two-term lawmaker introduced “a conservative re-imagining” of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) ambitious Green New Deal proposal to combat climate change […]

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott

Gaetz: Scott will give Trump ‘great advice’ on health care

BY: and - April 4, 2019

WASHINGTON — Count Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz among U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s supporters, at least when it comes to health care. Scott and Gaetz, a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, have sparred in public recently. Scott last month said that a tweet Gaetz sent — an apparent attempt to intimidate Trump’s former personal […]

Some state lawmakers want to limit how high you can get from legal medical weed

BY: - April 3, 2019

Floridians, by law, are supposed to be able to smoke medical marijuana if they’re sick. But now there’s a debate in the Legislature about limiting the potency of the drug. Some lawmakers are pushing a measure that limits the level of tetrahydrocannabinol – the chemical agent that causes the high – to no more than […]

Florida's surgeon general

DeSantis pick to be Fl surgeon general subject of UF sexual harassment investigation

BY: - April 3, 2019

Newly appointed Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees is already in hot water. The New Service of Florida is reporting that Rivkees, who was appointed to his post on Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, was the subject of a sexual harassment investigation in 2012 while at the University of Florida. Rivkees, who is chairman of the […]

Florida might break with Trump over Obamacare lawsuit

BY: - April 3, 2019

Florida could break with the Trump administration over a lawsuit aimed at repealing the federal Affordable Care Act. No decision has been reached yet, but Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody said Tuesday that she is studying a legal brief filed by Republican attorneys general from Ohio and Montana that asks a federal appellate court to […]