Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott is eliminating the governor’s Office of Drug Control, says the Miami Herald. Scott, who has pledged to cut waste in state government, said the office’s duties would be turned over to other departments. Said Scott spokesman Brian Burgess, “I don’t think we’re going to have cocaine bales stacking up on the docks of Miami if we close this office.”
People fighting Florida’s prescription-pill epidemic are concerned. “hat’s the plan for keeping a laser focus on that issue?” said Mark Fontaine of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. Drug office director Bruce Grant said eliminating four staff positions will save the state less than $500,000. “We’ve got a heck of a problem in this state with drugs. And it’s not going to be over any time soon,” Grant said. “What you’re saying by getting rid of this office is that’s not a priority. And that’s a mistake. Because it is a priority. We all have been connected to somebody with a substance abuse problem, and we all know how devastating it can be for a family and for our economy.” Gov. Jeb Bush created the Office of Drug Control in 1999.