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Expanded medical marijuana regime bill passes House panel

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A bill to allow dying patients to use medical marijuana as a palliative treatment passed its first hurdle in the House Tuesday morning. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved House Bill  307 by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic prime co-sponsor Rep. Katie Edwards by a vote of 9-4. Panel chair Rep. Carlos Trujillo was among the four Republicans voting ‘No.’ The bill amends a state law passed in 2014 that enables terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have begun the Federal Food & Drug…

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Fundraising reports show Senate rivals Jack Latvala, Joe Negron close as ever

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Early committee finance numbers for Republican Sens. Jack Latvala and Joe Negron show the two rivals for Senate President are as close as ever in fundraising. Latvala’s outfit, Florida Leadership Committee, entered October with a little more than $1.6 million on-hand, and the committee should get a little boost above that mark once final reports for October are posted. FLC had taken in about $110,000 in contributions through Oct. 26 and had posted $48,452 in expenditures as of Oct. 29,…

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Today on Context Florida: Martin Shkreli, political inaction and buttering up in Martin County

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Martin Dyckman talks about Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager who bought the sole source of the lifesaving drug Daraprim and raised its price from $18 to $750 per pill. His message to people with weakened immune systems suffering from the parasitic disease toxomoplasis was the same as the old Jack Benny joke: “Your money or your life.” In this instance, though, it was no joke. The welfare system is crashing, healthcare is broken; politicians are…

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House amends direct primary care bill to (almost) mirror new Senate healthcare train

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The House and Senate could be moving closer to agreement on a healthcare bill about direct primary care. The House Health Care Services Committee on Thursday tagged a strike all amendment onto its direct primary care proposal, HB 7047, to include “medical tourism.” The move makes the bill near identical to a proposed committee bill that the Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman state Sen. Aaron Bean unveiled at a committee meeting earlier this week, 7084, sans a provision in the…

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Legislators say now is the time to improve state’s mental health and substance abuse services

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A bipartisan group of House and Senate members on Tuesday announced their support of a 21-page bill that would better fund community mental health services and, among other things, establish a data collection system populated with information about individuals receiving publicly funded substance abuse and mental health disorders. In kicking off the press conference on HB 1005, veteran state Sen. Nancy Detert predicted that the state would pass legislation this year increasing funding for mental health and substance abuse services.…

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David McKalip’s list of contributions includes $500 to Democrat Janet Long

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

David McKalip, the now disgraced doctor who sent out a racist email depicting President Obama as a tribal witch doctor, has an extensive record of contributions to Florida politicians and political causes. Why does this matter? Because you just know that this was not the first time McKalip’s real beliefs were shared with policy makers. How many meetings must he have had with elected officials during which his ignorance reared its ugly head? According to the Florida Divison of Elections…

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