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January 22, 2021

Has it really been that long ago? Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016. And ever since, state lawmakers have tried to make more changes to the way the substance is handled in Florida. This year is no different. Blaise Gainey reports, proposals for full legalization and improved employee protections for medical marijuana users are already on the legislative table.

For nearly two decades, the Florida Department of Children and Families has been plagued by high profile failures that resulted in children being severely harmed or killed. The agency has also struggled with high employee turnover and ongoing criticism. This year, the findings of a USA Today project are prompting new legislation aimed at how D-C-F is dealing with foster parents. Lynn Hatter recently spoke with Secretary Chad Poppell (POP-ell) about how the organization moves forward.

Across the nation Black people are being vaccinated against the coronavirus at lower rates than white people, and that’s especially true in Florida. Of the more than 1 million people who have received at least their first dose in the state, only about 5 percent are Black. Health News Florida’s Stephanie Colombini explores some factors contributing to this disparity.

Black lawmakers in Florida are trying to dispel disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. A December survey found 35% of Black adults say they will probably or definitely not get the COVID-19 vaccine. The latest Florida Department of Health numbers show the percentage of Black Floridians vaccinated so far is in the single digits. Robbie Gaffney has more.

Republicans in Florida say they’re looking forward to the 2022 election cycle as Democrats take over Congress and the executive branch. Valerie Crowder reports while there have been a few Republican defections following violence at the U.S. Capitol and a new impeachment change against former President Donald Trump, Florida G-O-P leaders are sticking with him.