Florida Five: Ben Carson takes aim at Hillary, FDA’s marijuana game-changer

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Marco Rubio unveils plan to ‘Reclaim’ the American Dream: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, spoke at conservative Hillsdale College’s Washington campus on Wednesday about his plans to help working families across America. “Too many are starting to believe the American dream is no longer possible for people like them,” Rubio said in his speech. In his speech, Rubio called for increasing private-sector options for Medicare and Social Security. He also called for tax reform, including backing education tax credits on student loans and for mothers who have gone back to school. Rubio also called, once again, for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s health-care law. Read more.

bencarsontheview0521Ben Carson takes aim at Hillary Clinton, helps NRCC: Florida-based Republican Dr. Ben Carson raised his profile within the GOP on Wednesday as he went to bat for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and took aim at the leading Democratic presidential hopeful in 2016. Carson, a prominent neurosurgeon who entered the political realm in 2013 when he criticized President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law at the National Prayer Breakfast, has increasingly shown signs of running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. After retiring from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, Carson, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is now based out of West Palm Beach.  Read more.

Citizens board agrees to lower rates for most, raises for condo owners and coast: For the first time in four years, Citizens Property Insurance wants to lower rates for nearly 70 percent of its customers while everyone else – mostly South Florida condominium owners and homeowners in coastal areas — will see another year of increases.The rate changes were recommended Wednesday at the quarterly meeting of Citizens’ Board of Governors and now must go before the Office of Insurance Regulation for final approval.  Read more.

Tolls on Turnpike, other state roads going up July: Get ready to pay a little more for tolls on Florida’s Turnpike and other state-operated toll roads. SunPass users and those billed under the Toll by Plate system will pay 1.5 percent more as of July 1 to travel Alligator Alley, the Sawgrass Expressway and the Beachline Expressway between Orlando and the Space Coast — in addition to the turnpike.  Read more.

Out of the blue: FDA to reconsider marijuana’s schedule 1 status: For the first time in eight years federal health officials will conduct an analysis of whether marijuana should be reclassified under U.S. law. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs at the Food and Drug Administration, revealed the news during a lightly attended congressional hearing last week. Leaf Science, a Canadian website covering news and facts about marijuana, reported Saturday that the Drug Enforcement Administration apparently asked the FDA to carry out the review to see if marijuana still meets the status as a Schedule 1 drug — and it has consented.  Read more.

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