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Today’s top stories
• Gov. Ron DeSantis now has what he asked for at the start of his term: Bills that passed through both chambers of the legislature allowing medical marijuana patients in Florida to smoke the drug for treatment. (AP)
• It might be strange to learn these even exist, but Florida lawmakers are working to ban the sale and possession of childlike sex dolls. “It’s like tempting an addict with their drug of choice,” the bill sponsor says. One sex therapist we spoke with, though, disagrees with the possible ban: “I am more comfortable with the thought of a pedophile at home screwing a bag of nuts and bolts than hanging around the schoolyard with a bag of candy.” (WUFT News)
• You might remember Tiffany Robinson from the 2017 case against her in which she was accused and convicted of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University of Florida’s parking department. We recently caught up with her in prison, where she described the emotional pain of not being able to see the child she birthed shortly after beginning a 12-year sentence. (WUFT News)
• These are the flight cancellation totals at three of Florida’s four busiest airports in the wake of Boeing Max jets being grounded: Three in Tampa, four in Orlando, and 19 in Miami. (Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald)
• The University of Central Florida is drawing back on its request of $20 million for state construction money this year. (Florida Politics)
• A Republican chairing a House committee on higher education wants the state to survey Florida faculty and students about their political perspectives because of concerns about “indoctrination in the university system.” (News Service of Florida)
• Alachua County commissioners want an oversight board to take a closer look at how the City of Gainesville is spending half-cent sales tax revenue. (Gainesville Sun)
• How would a city like Flagler Beach with a $15 million budget rebuild its pier at a cost of $10 million? Federal funding would have to be involved. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
• Adam Putnam is unemployed no longer. The one-time frontrunner for Florida’s next governor is taking the position of chief executive for Ducks Unlimited in Tennessee. (Lakeland Ledger)
• A bust of Robert E. Lee in Fort Myers hit the ground earlier this week but is now back atop a monument. (Fort Myers News-Press)
• The Alligator today has the fun and strange story of “Libatty West,” the tiny bat who decided to take up residence in one of UF’s campus libraries.
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