Federal probe into Florida congressman said to include his marijuana ties

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Federal investigators reportedly are looking into whether embattled Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida took gifts in exchange for politically influencing medical marijuana policy.

CNN reported Friday that U.S. Justice Department investigators are examining whether a trip to the Bahamas in 2018 with several young women was part of a pay-to-play arrangement in the marijuana industry.

Gaetz, who has connections to people in the industry, sponsored a piece of MMJ legislation in Florida in 2014 as a state representative and has pushed for marijuana reform federally.

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) official headshot
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida)

One of his close friends is a Florida doctor who founded an MMJ advocacy group in the state and in 2018 acquired a stake in a Miami-based MMJ business, according to the CNN report. The doctor reportedly was on that 2018 Bahamas trip with Gaetz.

The probe into possible marijuana corruption is part of a larger investigation into whether Gaetz engaged in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Gaetz has denied the allegations, saying that he is a victim of political and media bias.

A Gaetz spokesman told CNN that the marijuana-related probe is ridiculous.

“Matt Gaetz is a long-time policy expert on the subject and passed legislation on the matter as far back as 2013. To suggest he needed anyone else nudging him along is risible,” the spokesman said.