| Drugs |

Charlie Crist's Ex-Lt. Gov., Jeff Kottkamp, Now Campaigning for Medical Marijuana

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Hey, Florida, remember Jeff Kottkamp, your former lieutenant governor? The mustached politician served alongside Charlie Crist and was chosen mostly because he was a reliable conservative in contrast to Crist's more moderate stance.

Well, after a failed run for state attorney general in 2010, Kottkamp has emerged from political obscurity as a mouthpiece for the medical marijuana movement. But the organization he's working with puts him at odds with Crist.

Florida for Care announced today it has recruited Kottkamp as an advocate.

Florida for Care is not related to United for Care, the organization that recently announced it will once again seek to put a medical marijuana amendment back on the ballot in 2016. United for Care is chaired by trial lawyer John Morgan, who happens to also be Crist's boss at the Morgan & Morgan law firm and one of his chief political patrons.

Kottkamp noticeably distanced himself from Crist when the former governor became an independent during his failed run for U.S. Senate. So the two are not exactly united once again.

In contrast to United for Care, Florida for Care seeks to bring medical marijuana to Florida through legislative efforts rather than the ballot.

"I'm proud to work with Florida for Care on this very important mission. We have a unique opportunity to bring something compassionate to the table -- and respond to the majority of Floridians -- 58% who supported medical marijuana in the last election," Kottkamp said in a statement.

"Like so many other Floridians who back medical marijuana, I have my own story. I watched my mother suffer with cancer for 10 years. I think when we have loved ones and think there is any way to alleviate their suffering, how can we not do whatever it takes?"

Kottkamp's background makes him uniquely suited for the task. He's a veteran of the state legislature and knows many of the Republicans in power.

As lieutenant governor, he was also tasked with leading the Governor's Office for Drug Control.

"Kottkamp's vast understanding of legislative politics and his experience leading the Governor's Office of Drug Control will, without question, be a huge boost to our efforts," Daniel Rogers, Florida for Care's director of legislative affairs, said in a statement.

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