The photo shows the 11-month-old baby in a diaper, sitting on a carpet with his face leaning over the glass smoking pipe.
The baby's 19-year-old mother claims the pipe didn't have tobacco or drugs in it at the time, and that the boy didn't inhale any smoke. She says she posted the photo online as a joke to show one of her friends.
"We are alarmed that any parent would take pictures of their child next to what is obviously drug paraphernalia," department spokesman John Harrell said in comments carried by several news outlets.
The Florida TV station WJXT used Facebook messaging to contact the woman, who lives in Keystone Heights, northwest of Gainsville, and questioned her about the photo.
"If u look at the picture u can see that there is no bowl in the TABACCO pipe," she responded, with grammatical and spelling errors. "And i took a pic to show one (expletive) person and it was a mistake. I would never ever ever let him get high."