Rick Scott talks pot, Donald Trump

Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott made his way through his first Cabinet meeting as a candidate for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, and while the meeting focused exclusively on state matters, the questions that followed from reporters unsurprisingly centered on federal issues.

Scott is leading his Democratic opponent, incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, in a few early polls and handily outspending him in advertising — at least for now. The race will undoubtedly be competitive and there’s a real chance Scott takes the top of the ticket in November.

So it follows that the Governor was asked on Wednesday for comment on legalizing pot, for his opinion of President Donald Trump and for his thoughts on the Affordable Care Act. 

A bipartisan effort is bubbling in Congress to ease the federal ban on marijuana. If passed, it would give states more discretion with the drug. The President has indicated mild support for the idea, though it would need Congressional approval first. 

“Well, I’ll deal with that when I make it to the Senate,” Scott said.

The Governor also was asked about the issue of medical marijuana — which is currently in the fore in the Sunshine State. A judge recently ruled unconstitutional a state ban on smoking the drug for treatment. Scott’s attorneys have appealed the ruling.

“What’s important to me is that everyone has access to the health care that they need,” Scott said. He said “plenty of doctors” make the drug available and “thousands of people” use it without smoking.

“What this issue is about is how you get to take it,” Scott said. “I’m going to continue to follow the law. The constitutional amendment passed, the Legislature by a bipartisan manner overwhelmingly passed a bill, and I’m going to support it.”  

Another reporter brought up the Justice Department’s decision to no longer fight for patients with pre-existing medical conditions who face higher rates or no option for coverage. Reports the New York Times, “If that argument is accepted by the federal court, it could eviscerate major parts of the Affordable Care Act that remain in place despite numerous attacks by President Trump and his administration.”

Scott remained vague on the issue.

“I think everybody ought to be able to get health care insurance,” Scott said. But he said the Affordable Care Act needs to be fixed because it’s “caused our premiums to skyrocket.”

He added: “But I don’t believe in grand bargains, I believe in incrementally trying to make change.” Among his brief suggestions: more competition, plans that fit individual families, and rewarding “people who take care of themselves.”

After being prompted by reporters to discuss Trump’s presidency, Scott lauded the administration’s work to secure funding for the dike at Lake Okeechobee. Scott said, “I’m optimistic that’s going to happen.”

As well, he said he appreciated the efforts of the Trump administration to reconsider oil drilling off Florida’s shore.

But when asked if Trump was doing a good job, Scott responded: “What I want is results.”

Danny McAuliffe

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at [email protected]


6 comments

  • Art Vandalay

    June 13, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    More carefully-crafted career politician doublespeak. I hope he loses. He’s as crooked as a question mark and is responsible for hamstringing FL’s MMJ program, among other things.

    VOTE AGAINST HIM!!

    • Truth logic

      June 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Scott has been a great governor and will be a great senator.Nelso is a do nothing for 45 years moron.

  • Gino

    June 13, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    The amendment says no smoking in public! Same as no nudity in public, no sex in public, no drinking in public, no urinating in public. These can all be done in private! This should never have been appealed! Vote against Rick Scott!

  • Ima

    June 13, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    How can I trust anyone that will not answer a simple direct question?

  • Franklin

    June 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Scott is as corrupt as they come. He hasn’t done a good job as Governor of Florida. He has made a lot of money off scams such as the Mosquito scare where he and his wife made Millions. He has been trying to block Medical Marijuana, even though it passed and was added to our Constitution. He is like every other career politician…useless. Will not vote for him!

  • John Sisco

    June 22, 2018 at 6:48 am

    We don’t need people like rick Scott in office .the law only matters when maid by him.he is a scum bag greedy little snake with investments in pharmaceutical companies. He is anti American all the way if you really think about it.he supports himself not the people

Comments are closed.


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