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Ep.195: Steve Fox Part III

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.195: Steve Fox Part III

Ep.195: Steve Fox Part III

As this episode goes up, tomorrow is election day. We figured there’s no better person to sum up what’s about to happen regarding cannabis ballot initiatives than THE Steve Fox. We begin with a little personal history from way back in episode 34 and then dive in to Steve’s take on how this year is different than 2012. The interview was recorded October 17th- it preceded Sheldon Adelson’s investment in Arizona and Nevada- so we discuss the timing of the investment coming less than a month before election day. We wonder aloud about the effectiveness of this late investment. Steve gives us his take on how it’s gonna go and why and how he uses the word marijuana vs. cannabis…and just what’s on the docket for him moving into 2017.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Steve Fox returns again. As this episode goes up, tomorrow is election day. We figured there's no better person to sum up what's about to happen regarding cannabis ballot initiatives. Then the Steve Fox. We begin with a little personal history from way back in episode 34 and then dive into Steve's. Take on how this year is different than 20 slash 12. The interview was recorded October 17th. It proceeded Sheldon Adelsons investment in Arizona and Nevada, so we discussed the timing of the investment coming less than a month before election day and the potential effectiveness of that late investment steve gives us his take on the whole on how it's going to go and why he uses the word marijuana versus cannabis and just what's on the docket for him. Moving into 2017. Welcome to canvas economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy. D, Steve Fox on what tomorrow brings

Speaker 3: other, was a lawyer, but he decided early on in his career that he really disliked corporate law and ended up doing, was one of the first mediators in the country. He, uh, did divorce mediation and, and eventually ended up at Harvard law school, um, as a public interest advisor helping, uh, helping students find non corporate law opportunities.

Speaker 4: Okay. So, you know, a son Steve, going into what would become the legal cannabis industry. I can see, you know, some, some, some of the path starting from, uh, from Father Fox. Right?

Speaker 3: Uh, sure. Uh, I mean they, they really just raised me to try to find satisfying work, um, that, that I enjoyed doing every day and uh, hopefully do something to do better the world in some way. So that was, that was the guiding philosophy. It was never, never really about money in our household.

Speaker 4: Right. Uh, yeah. If you do what you love, eventually the money comes. At least that's the theory, right?

Speaker 3: Indeed. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Uh, so, you know, you go back to law school, then you do finally graduate and then what were you doing in those early days with your law degree?

Speaker 3: Uh, I was basically, I can't have as doing anything specifically with a law degree. I went to law school thinking that, that I would end up doing work similar, similar to the work my father is doing to the mediating a arbitration role that, that was the thought. Um, but, you know, I really did catch the political bug while I was there. Um, obviously being done in little rock contributed to that. So I really was looking to do more political work when I got out. Um, I actually spent some time heading up the Massachusetts Democratic Leadership Council, was the centrist Democratic Organization, um, at the time. That's what Clinton came out of the DLC and did that for a bit and then actually got the opportunity to come down to dc to, uh, take a low level political job and the administration, the Clinton administration. I had my name on a list after having worked there for that summer.

Speaker 1: Steve Fox returns again. As this episode goes up, tomorrow is election day. We figured there's no better person to sum up what's about to happen regarding cannabis ballot initiatives. Then the Steve Fox. We begin with a little personal history from way back in episode 34 and then dive into Steve's. Take on how this year is different than 20 slash 12. The interview was recorded October 17th. It proceeded Sheldon Adelsons investment in Arizona and Nevada, so we discussed the timing of the investment coming less than a month before election day and the potential effectiveness of that late investment steve gives us his take on the whole on how it's going to go and why he uses the word marijuana versus cannabis and just what's on the docket for him. Moving into 2017. Welcome to canvas economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy. D, Steve Fox on what tomorrow brings

Speaker 3: other, was a lawyer, but he decided early on in his career that he really disliked corporate law and ended up doing, was one of the first mediators in the country. He, uh, did divorce mediation and, and eventually ended up at Harvard law school, um, as a public interest advisor helping, uh, helping students find non corporate law opportunities.

Speaker 4: Okay. So, you know, a son Steve, going into what would become the legal cannabis industry. I can see, you know, some, some, some of the path starting from, uh, from Father Fox. Right?

Speaker 3: Uh, sure. Uh, I mean they, they really just raised me to try to find satisfying work, um, that, that I enjoyed doing every day and uh, hopefully do something to do better the world in some way. So that was, that was the guiding philosophy. It was never, never really about money in our household.

Speaker 4: Right. Uh, yeah. If you do what you love, eventually the money comes. At least that's the theory, right?

Speaker 3: Indeed. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Uh, so, you know, you go back to law school, then you do finally graduate and then what were you doing in those early days with your law degree?

Speaker 3: Uh, I was basically, I can't have as doing anything specifically with a law degree. I went to law school thinking that, that I would end up doing work similar, similar to the work my father is doing to the mediating a arbitration role that, that was the thought. Um, but, you know, I really did catch the political bug while I was there. Um, obviously being done in little rock contributed to that. So I really was looking to do more political work when I got out. Um, I actually spent some time heading up the Massachusetts Democratic Leadership Council, was the centrist Democratic Organization, um, at the time. That's what Clinton came out of the DLC and did that for a bit and then actually got the opportunity to come down to dc to, uh, take a low level political job and the administration, the Clinton administration. I had my name on a list after having worked there for that summer.

Speaker 4: God, what? Yeah, what, what was that job?

Speaker 3: Uh, that was at the Department of Commerce working in the, uh, secretaries press office, but that, that turned out to be, um, sort of a strange quirk of timing because I started there and um, you may remember probably a lot of listeners won't remember, but the secretary of commerce, Ron Brown was actually killed in a plane crash in early 1996 and I had started in his office a week before that and the person who hired me, yeah, the person who hired me was on the plane and many others. So yeah. So it was really, obviously that was a great tragedy from my perspective and it just anyway, wasn't, wasn't the job that it was intended to be. Everything. Everything changed after that. Not that my problems compared to the other problems, but it just is what it was

Speaker 4: completely. And I mean, I guess you had to deal with that, uh, uh, people in a profile for your profession, right? You're in the press office. What? I mean, what was life like that week? That's

Speaker 5: insane.

Speaker 3: Yeah, it was, it was really kind of, I mean I was right in the middle of it, of people, you know, everyone around me was devastated and distraught and crying and so on, and obviously I felt bad, but I didn't have the personal connection that, that everyone had, like all their coworkers and friends, you know, there were, I forget what the number was, maybe 34 people who were on the plane. I'm a certainly a good number. Maybe it was 34 who worked at, at the Department of Commerce at the time and then a number of other business people. Um, but yeah, it was just. And then we went through, we were doing press related to the, uh, to the ceremony that was held at the memorial service and all of that. And I was, you know, putting together materials to sort of document and archive it and, and all of that. So anyway, it was, it was a crazy.

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Speaker 5: So we are, uh, I mean, let's face it, we're honored once again to, uh, to, to welcome Steve Fox. Uh, Steve, thanks so much for giving us a few minutes. You are a busy man right now. Yeah, no, it's always, always my pleasure. So, you know, we've been checking in with, uh, with each, a state of note, um, and we want it to take the opportunity to, with this being the episode before Election Day. So election day is tomorrow when this, when this episode posts, we wanted to kind of give folks, even though it's a couple of weeks away when, when we're talking now, uh, give folks a, a good kind of a smorgasbord of information via Steve Fox as far as a ballot initiatives, et cetera. So, so here we go. Are you, are you, are you ready? Are you seth? I am ready to go. Well, I guess, you know, I'm big first question, uh, and there's, you know, certainly obvious answers to this question. What's the biggest difference that you're noticing? Noticing, uh, between 2016 and 2012 slash 2012 was kind of Colorado in Washington. Obviously we have many more ballot initiatives, but just a big picture, open question, what's the biggest difference between this year and that year?

Speaker 6: Yeah, it's really a, a big difference. Uh, if you, if you look at the two years in 2012, uh, when we were working on the Colorado and Washington campaigns, I was more directly involved in Colorado. Uh, we were basically running a campaign to make marijuana legal for all adults. And um, our opponents were arguing that, that marijuana shouldn't be legal and made all of their, their arguments about why they, they felt that way. Um, and we're talking about reputation to the state or what happens if more people use marijuana and so on. And that, that was the fight we were fighting. But, but this year our opponents have really targeted the marijuana industry more directly and that's, that's essentially what we're running against. And they're just doing everything in their power to make it seem like this is, you know, some, some plot by, you know, big, big marijuana to, to come in and take over and try to try to generate profits and threaten kids. And all of that. And not that that's, that's the big difference.

Speaker 5: So, so big marijuana, you and I know that there is no such thing as that because the plant is federally illegal. But besides that, um, what, what, uh, is it just to make it into a big, bad monster? Uh, you know, let's ignore the fact that it's a, um, any benefit that anybody with epilepsy, for instance, that I saw on CNN, you know, for, for the, for the regular voter, um, let's ignore all that. This is, these are big, bad business people and they're going to take your children away or whatever it. Is that, what it is or.

Speaker 6: Yeah. I mean, essentially they've given up the fight, uh, on the idea that, that marijuana should be legal for adults. Uh, even even our opponents are saying, we know this is inevitable, this is coming. We don't think that adults should be punished, at least not punished too harshly. Um, by that I mean they, they may still support decrim which would, which would have financial penalties instead of criminal penalties. But, but they've really given up on the idea that there should be illegal for adults. They see, they see the way the, the tides have turned and they just want to make it seem as if I'm, you, if we make it legal, then you know, these big corporations are going to market products to teens and try to get your teens hooked on marijuana and scare voters into opposing it based on that.

Speaker 5: Well, so, you know, um, I, I would imagine, do you take solace in the fact that we've taken that step? In other words, you know, Steve Fox is the marijuana is safer guy and we're not even arguing that anymore. Is that a step that you're happy that we've taken? Or are you annoyed at the fact that we have to now argue this ridiculous point?

Speaker 6: Uh, yeah. I mean, in one sense it is gratifying in a way. You see the latest pew survey coming out with now 57 percent support in favor of marijuana being legal nationally. Um, and when we, when we launched the safer campaign back in, in 2005 and started doing that work, national support was a 32 percent. Uh, so, so we've come a long way. Um, so I guess at some level it is gratifying, but, but it is challenging from a, from a campaign perspective, um, to, to be dealing with, with these ads which are primarily focused on, on gummy bears and other edibles that, um, you know, they're, they're suggesting will, we'll put your, put your kids in the hospital,

Speaker 5: right? Uh, you know, forget about the childproof packaging that they come in. Um, you know, there's a gummy bear in there if you can actually open it. Um, but, you know, so before we dive in a state by state as, as far as this argument, as far as the, you know, a big marijuana argument, you know, just generally, what is your counterpoint to that, um, how, how are you kind of sharing information just generally as far as here's what we might want to share so that folks understand that that can't be the case. Sure. I mean, I mean

Speaker 6: there, there are a number of different responses to that, the, the most basic responses that anyone who is saying that these initiatives should be defeated based on the idea that, that there will be companies in, in charge of production distribution that, that may profit from that need to understand that, that the alternative, what they're defending his criminals and cartels controlling production and distribution and we all know what, what comes along with that and what that means to our, our streets and our communities and people who are living in countries like Mexico who see the full power of the, of the cartels and the money that flows to them. So, so that's, that's the primary thing. Beyond, beyond that, I mean we also talk about how the regulated market will bring additional benefits. You know, you have, you have stores that will be forced to check ids to make sure they're not selling to anyone under age. That's certainly not something that happens in the criminal market. And you'll have stores that have to follow all of the regulations that are out there from, from testing their products to packaging them properly. And, and as you noted before, having child resistant packaging and so on. All of all of these things are, are preferable to the, to the criminal market. I mean, we know, we know people use marijuana, millions of Americans use marijuana and it just makes sense to have it sold in a manner that's, that's regulated and taxed.

Speaker 5: Well, I, I think you're, you're, uh, obviously onto something. I mean, when, when I spoke to Jim Cole of the Cole memo is episode 1:40 for those keeping score at home. Uh, he did say he knew that he did the right thing by writing the, uh, you know, his series of coal mammos when he heard on the radio that the Sinaloa cartel, um, you know, business was down for them. How can we kind of spread that message more, you know, when, when you look at Colorado, understand that, uh, those cartels their businesses down and that's good for your kids. How do we square that circle?

Speaker 6: I mean, we just need to keep repeating it. I think every campaign is doing that too, to some extent. I mean, we have on our, on our facebook page right now, the, the, um, the cover photo is the billboard that says support schools, not cartels, and we just want to keep making that point that, that just is during alcohol prohibition. You had al capone and his colleagues in control of the trade, um, that if you leave the system as it is now and you choose not to regulate, then you are just keeping keeping cartels and criminals and in control. So we're, we're just trying to get the message out as, as much as we can.

Speaker 5: All right, so getting the message out as much as we can. Uh, let's go. Uh, you know, let's dive in. Let's, let's, uh, experience each state in which you're working, I guess, where are you spending most of your time? I know that you're splitting it somewhat evenly, but what would be the first state to bring up? Would it be Arizona?

Speaker 6: Yeah, Nevada and Arizona. The two campaigns I've been involved with over the, over the past few months.

Speaker 5: So since you said Nevada first, you know, we've gotten a, just an update from, from job Brezhnev, but uh, but what, what would you say? How are we doing? What's, uh, what's the feeling from your perspective? Well, I mean I'm, I'm feeling pretty good overall about Nevada. Um,

Speaker 6: it's interesting we're recording this, this interview now and it will be airing just before the election and the big unknown is whether there will be a large influx of money from Sheldon Adelson. As you know, we, we heard just a few days ago at the time of this recording, um, it was just reported that he put a million dollars into the opposition campaign in Massachusetts. Um, and, and with his base being in Nevada, there's always been an expectation that he would be involved there. Um, but, but as of now, there's no specific evidence, but campaign finance reports are due on October 18th. This is October 17th when we're having this conversation. So we will see if there are funds there, but if it's even possible that that check could be written today on October 17th and it won't have to be reported until, I believe November fourth. So, so we could almost go to the end of the campaign without knowing whether he's put in the money or not so. Well. So yeah, aside from that unknown, um, if he ordered,

Speaker 5: take that and I'll tell you why because you know, as, as long as you and I and others have been talking about Nevada, we've been talking about Sheldon Adelson either jumping in or not. Okay, great. He's spending a million dollars, which is a lot of money in, in Massachusetts. But tell me, you know, is this late now? It certainly feels like it's late, you know, we're, we're three weeks out. Um, he hasn't given money yet. Maybe he did, you know, three, four weeks ago. Isn't this late for him to, to, to, uh, to put money in or is this right on time? Is this exactly when he should be doing it as far as just, you know, electoral politics and the money and how it works. What are your thoughts on timing here?

Speaker 6: Yeah, I mean in that sense the, it is, it is a bit late. I mean, we, we heard just a couple days ago, uh, the, the, our media buyer was saying that, that we just bought out the rest of the inventory for online pre roll ads, which are the ads that pop up before you watch a video. Don't skip, don't skip Steve's ads. Dammit going exactly set. And then in, in Nevada, clearly with it being a swing state and having a competitive Senate election as well as a, another initiative on the ballot related to background checks for gun purchases, there has been a lot of inventory purchase. They're there. It would be hard at this point to, to spend $3,000,000 if he does put in $3,000,000 today. Um, I mean it can be bought up there. There's certainly ways to spend it. It may mean putting a lot of money into. There could just be an onslaught of, of mail to, to voters across the state, but, but some of the best advertising opportunities certainly aren't available anymore.

Speaker 5: So then understanding that, and I don't mean to kind of push you in a direction here, but as far as talking about Nevada, the one big unknown was him and, you know, okay, fine. Maybe he did put in a bunch of money just recently and maybe we'll find out about it. Um, but if all things are what we think they are, you know, how, what are you thinking? How do you feel?

Speaker 6: I'm optimistic about it. I really am. I'm in the, our opponents, uh, have certainly spent a lot of time and money on pushing the gummy bear argument. I mean, that's, that's really what they've been doing almost exclusively with the mailings that we've seen in the ads that we've seen. Uh, they are just putting the message out there that that marijuana, gummy bears are going to put all of your children in the hospital. And if people are really afraid of gummy bears, then then we, we could lose. Um, but my hope is that voters understand that it's, it's really an over the top argument and while we obviously do care about unintentional ingestions like that and want to prevent them, um, you know, the report they're siting out of Colorado is that there were 47 calls to the poison control center related to marijuana in Twenty 15 compared to only nine four years earlier, but, but what they're leaving out is that, you know, in the same year that there were 47 calls about marijuana, there were more than 1400 about a household cleaning products and, and, and more than a couple thousand about cosmetics. I mean, it's, it's just a relatively small problem come compared to, you know, other, other substances that are out there.

Speaker 5: That's my, a tide pods argument, which I love too. And, and, uh, I should say this, I am a proud consumer of tide pods. So how do they taste or they taste the taste? Amazing. That's exactly what I like. I like him as a, uh, a Moose boosh between courses, but all right. Yeah. So, so that's Nevada. You touched on Arizona, but we did. You did just say a million dollars in Massachusetts. Uh, I know that that was a tight. We've talked to will up there. Um, you know, what's going on. Obviously there's, there's noted opposition. A polling. Okay. What are your thoughts? How do you feel? Oh, I'm sorry. Are we talking about Massachusetts then? Yes. Let's go to Massachusetts. Indeed. Massachusetts.

Speaker 6: Yeah. I mean, the, the electorate there has, has always been supportive of marijuana from the, from the statewide decrim boat to those statewide medical marijuana vote to dozens and dozens of local measures. The nonbinding measures that had been put on the ballot, they almost always get 60 percent or more. Um, of course you do have notable opposition from the governor and the mayor of Boston, the attorney general and so on, which, which is a challenge. And again, they're, they're making the same arguments there. I, I almost don't need to repeat it, but the big marijuana and gummy bears and so on, and they're certainly trying to, trying to scare people into opposing it. But, um, I think, I think in the end, um, especially because they're going to have, even with that million dollars, Sheldon Adelson, they're going to end up with probably about a two to one, if not three to one advertising advantage. Um, for the pro side. Um, uh, I, I would be very surprised if it, um, if it fell short.

Speaker 5: Okay, good. So, so there you go. Nevada, Massachusetts, two totally different states. So one, you know, we see the money. One, we might not see the money. We understand the arguments, we see the polling, we get it. All right, so, so going back to, you know, you did mention Nevada and Arizona are, are your, your where you're spending most of your time and energy. Arizona is the red state as, as jp will tell you. And Arizona is the kind of outlier with, uh, with, with, you know, from all of the states, uh, that, uh, that we've been discussing. So, so how's it going there? What's, you know, what's happening? They obviously they do have a very good, you know, medical program there. Uh, what, what's happening with the ballot initiative as you see it,

Speaker 6: it's, it's a solid campaign. Um, I mean, we're, we're pushing pushing our messages there. What, while Arizona is a red state, another thing that makes it unique is that it is right there on the border. Um, if there's any state that, that understands, um, what cartels do and how they operate and what that can do to your communities. Um, Arizona is one of those states and that's, that's the argument that, that we're pushing that, that we are far better off as a state with our streets will be safer. Our borders will be safer if we take this out of the criminal market and we reregulated how, you know,

Speaker 5: have you seen the reaction to that message? Because if it's a, a, a voter that's paying attention, that might not necessarily be someone that would support cannabis legalization, is that working there? Because as you just said, you know, th, those are the folks that really have this most top of mind. Right? Right. Well,

Speaker 6: do know, it's a message that resonates and polling we have done. Uh, we have seen that, that, that argument about the border and making the state safer does, does resonate. Um, you had the Arizona Republic, I'm just this morning, um, unfortunately come out in opposition to prop two, oh, five, which probably isn't surprising given that it's a conservative newspaper, but even if you look at their editorial and it basically starts out by saying that they understand the harm that that drug cartels pose to our communities and our, and our children. So, you know, they're acknowledging that and there's almost more substance given to the, to the yes on prop two. Oh, five side than the, than the No side. But then they ended up coming out against it saying that, you know, they don't, they don't like the way it's written, you know, it benefits medical marijuana owners. Um, and, and it's just too soon. We don't, we don't need to rush into this. Well,

Speaker 5: I mean, and again, this goes back to the beginning of our conversation, you know, if the very conservative paper, which we figured would come out against it anyway. Okay, fine. Comes out against it. But then, you know, with some of the arguments that, uh, that you, uh, and uh, advocates and activists have been arguing for for quite some time are, are noted as now facts, you know. Um, I kinda, I kinda like where we're going here. Steve, what do you think? Oh, absolutely. I mean, we're, we're

Speaker 6: really only going in one direction. I mean, we've been, we've been saying that for, for a long time and it's, and it's very clear now and, and frankly, you know, if, if powerful people like governor Doucey and in Arizona or governor sandoval and in Nevada, you know, are, are successful ultimately in defeating these initiatives, that they're really the ones that are going to suffer. I mean, they're not, they're not doing their estates any favor by, by leaving drug cartels and criminals in charge of this benign substance. It's just, it's utterly irrational. And, and you know, they're, they're fighting the remanence of a, of a culture war that, that ended a long time ago and they just don't know it yet.

Speaker 5: And that, that brings to mind. Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado was, you know, against it going into the vote, but when he came back out of the vote, he setup the commission and, you know, and we regulated it so, uh, and, and he's obviously changed his tune in, in the ensuing four years. What about another governor? I'll kinda just kind of added left field, but governor Casick, um, you know, you and I hadn't, I don't think discussed him just, you know, kind of saying, okay, let's do this. Well, what are your thoughts on that in Ohio?

Speaker 6: Uh, where are my thoughts? And in Ohio I think there's probably an interesting story to be told. There is a, I don't think the, the Republicans in Ohio suddenly saw the light and decided to help medical marijuana patients have, like, I like to think that was the case. But, um, I think it's more likely that, that they thought that having a marijuana related initiative on the ballot in 2016 might help Democratic candidates and they basically passed medical marijuana legislation to make sure it didn't appear on the ballot. Interesting.

Speaker 5: And, uh, you know, that, uh, that does shed light on our final topic which is upcoming, which is the presidential election because Ohio Republicans are not necessarily for the, uh, the Republican candidate for president. But before we get there, let's make sure to, to kind of cover, um, you know, the other states, you know, that you're not necessarily so active in, but where you might be able to share a little bit of a, you know, your thoughts. Obviously California is, is, uh, is next, um, you know, what, what are your thoughts on how we're doing polling looks great. What are your thoughts? Yeah. Um,

Speaker 6: very optimistic about California. It's a well run, well funded campaign and the support, the public support, um, seems to, to be there. Uh, and, and I'm just very, very confident that will pass.

Speaker 5: So, you know, uh, okay, great. That's, that's California. What, what other states, you know, um, would you like to write home about, I guess as we make our way, uh, to, to, uh, to tomorrow, you know, when, when folks are listening to this, what other states are, you know, have, have interesting things happening. Well, obviously

Speaker 6: Florida is a big one, uh, in terms of the size of the state and I'm pushing for the, the medical marijuana initiative. They're hopefully getting 60 percent support.

Speaker 5: That's what I'm saying. The polling that I saw is, is remarkable. Uh, how, I mean, how much can we depend on that? That just seems high. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't expect it

Speaker 6: that they're going to end up at 70 percent in the end, but, um, but now, I mean, medical marijuana has such strong support at this point that I'm with it getting 58 percent support, 58 point five, whatever the final number was. Um, you know, in 14 there's gonna be a much higher turnout this time and I just expect that it will, that it will past relatively easily.

Speaker 5: So that is a, that's obviously good news that uh, puts, puts Florida back on the map so to speak. Um, and any other, uh, states you want to talk about? Arkansas

Speaker 6: I could sure just mentioned Arkansas. Arkansas' is a state that actually I worked on in 2012 and while we were celebrating the amendment 64 victory, it was sad to see that we had come so close in Arkansas. I'm with like 48 point five percent of the vote there. Um, so that will certainly be one to watch. It's really unfortunate that they ended up with two initiatives on the ballot, which obviously could lead to some splitting of votes and maybe having each one, um, ended up below 50 percent. But, but my gut sense is that, and I, I think I have this correct, is that is that voters are going to encounter the first one which is the constitutional amendment. And I think I have this correct. I hope I'm not wrong, but um, but they'll encounter the first one and because there's generally support for medical marijuana, they'll, they'll vote yes on that.

Speaker 6: And then the question will be whether they also vote yes on the second one they encounter or whether they'll say, oh, I just voted for one, why do I need to vote for, for another? Um, so I'm, I'm not sure if folks will go back and maybe change their first vote because they liked the second one better or, or what, or maybe they'll, they'll just say, I, I, I did one, I'm not, I'm not voting for two or maybe they'll just vote for two because they both sound good. So I don't know. But if I had to make a prediction and this, these last minute predictions, um, I'd actually say that my gut is that the constitutional amendment one, we'll, we'll end up with more boats.

Speaker 5: All right. So, uh, you're saying there's a chance.

Speaker 6: Oh yeah, yeah, no, I definitely think there's a chance.

Speaker 5: So, and, and again, I'll ask you one last time. What else, what other, uh, anything else that we should cover knowing that folks are either listening to this the day before or the day of we're maybe afterwards, but, uh, understanding that the, uh, that's when the ears are hearing this. What, uh, what else would you add?

Speaker 6: Stick a nationwide? Uh, I don't, I don't think I have too much to add. I'm, I'll be as a political person. I'm more broadly, um, uh, and, and, and in terms of how this will affect marijuana policy moving forward, I'll certainly be watching the, the Senate race, um, as well as the, the house races to see how that all plays out and who will be in control in DC and who will be controlling committees, you know, will Ron Wyden from Oregon, you know, a strong supporter of reforming to ade. Will he now be chair of the Senate Finance Committee or not? I mean, those, there are big issues like that that, that will be watching.

Speaker 5: So as we make our way up the ballot, I think we can skip the house because you and I assume, I would imagine that that will be basically what we know it is now. And please stop me if you disagree.

Speaker 6: Uh, I won't, I won't stop you. I'm not, I'm not expecting the Democrats to take over the house. But, but wouldn't mind if that ends up happening, if, if Donald Trump gives people even more reason over the next few weeks to a not bother coming out to vote for him. But we'll see.

Speaker 5: Well, let's, let's talk about the Senate because that, you know, we are noticing that ticket splitting is definitely happening in such places as the aforementioned Ohio. So, you know, the Senate candidate there, Portman is, uh, you know, doing really well. I'm a and so is trump, even though they're not kinda together on that ballot. Um, what other Senate races are you looking at and what do you think might happen here? What are your, you know, what does your gut tell you about the Senate races across the country?

Speaker 6: Well, I don't know that I'm going to go too deep into depth on a lot of these races, but, but my overall sense is that the, as much as there probably will be something of a, of a wave, the selection and Democrats favor that, that it will be sufficient to make it so that the Democrats do have at least 50, maybe 51 or even 52 members of the Senate. So I'm certainly hoping it ends up that way.

Speaker 5: Okay. Which brings us to the top of the ticket. So, you know, the reason that, um, you know, we love cannabis being on the ballot in a presidential year, is that folks tend to vote for it in a presidential year. Uh, it's our kind of voter, so to speak. What are your thoughts on, you know, the kind of voter, you know, everything seems to be completely different, you know, now for something completely different. Here's this presidential election. What can we count on, count on, you know, we just, we just dove into the ballot initiatives at the ballot initiative, a level coming, coming back out. What are you seeing about the general electorate? What are you seeing about the two choices? What are you seeing about, um, and what are you hearing about how people are, are voting? Um, given the fact that, um, you know, one, if not two of the candidates are, are, are unpalatable to the other, completely unpalatable to the, to the other side. What, how does that change things?

Speaker 6: Well, I mean, I guess as the campaign was, was churning along a concern from our perspective was the Bernie Sanders electorate and whether they would come out and vote or not or whether they would be, I'm sufficiently disappointed that they decided just to, to sit it out. And anecdotally, we, we certainly have heard or seen folks who, um, who feel that way. Uh, so, so that, that is a concern. But now you know, we're, we're seeing the other side of it where there are now many people who were, you know, ready to vote for, for Donald trump who are to say the least, a bit turned off by what, what they've been seeing. And, and there may well be a depressed turnout on the republican side, which will, which will obviously help us. I mean, what, what I'm hoping big picture is that Bernie Sanders and others do a good job of turning out, turning out young voters and helping them understand that there's, there's a reason to show up.

Speaker 6: And even using our issue I think would be beneficial. Although they haven't really done that in an organized way. As, uh, as of now, I mean, interestingly, as we, as we speak here on, on October 17th, um, Bernie Sanders is going to be a in Arizona tomorrow and Nevada on Wednesday. Uh, and this would, this would really be an opportunity to try to try to emphasize the fact that our initiative is on the ballot and, and even if the young or irregular voters are not enthusiastic about the top of the ticket that they should turn out to make marijuana legal and then, you know, vote for whomever else they vote for a, at the same time.

Speaker 5: What about those, you said you call them irregular voters. What about the irregular voters on the other side, which, you know, I, I like to call them the, the, the brexit voters, meaning, you know, going into brexit. Here's what polling said and it polling was wrong going into Columbia. Here's what polling said, and polling was wrong. Um, folks that, you know, aren't answering polls, folks that haven't voted maybe in a presidential election in the past few years because they didn't like Romney and they didn't like mccain and they really do like trump. What are your thoughts on kind of a, a, an, a hidden voter, an unrecognized vote by, by the polling on the, uh, you know, on that side. Well,

Speaker 6: I guess I would just broadly say that in terms of our narrow issue, I would feel better, and again, this is my narrow response. Um, I would feel better about trump voters turning out then romney voters turning a. got it. Speaking of cannabis on the ballot in terms of the impact on a marijuana initiative, I think we would do better. If you were to stereotype a trump voter and a romney voter, I think we would do better amongst the trump voters. Fair enough. I, I, uh, I can see your point there. One thing, let me a, I don't know why I'm bringing this up. It might be because you've been using the word for, you know, a quarter of a century. Um, I, I say cannabis and I'm noticing as we speak here, you still use the word marijuana and I wonder if you care, you know what I mean?

Speaker 6: Or if, why is that, is that a cognitive choice I guess? Yeah. Well, it, it is, it is, and I actually wear different hats at times if I'm, if I'm doing my work for the National Cannabis Industry Association, then I tend to use cannabis. I'm, when I'm doing ballad initiative work, we use marijuana a and it, you're saying word use just to be clear. Yeah. As far as use. Why is that? I wonder it's, it's just a term that people are familiar with, eh, people for better or worse understand what marijuana is and recognize the term and we are talking about ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana like alcohol and it's just what we're doing, um, once, once it's fully legal, um, we can use cannabis and, and make sure that, that, that appropriate term is used. Um, but, but for now, like in the course of a valid initiative campaign or our primary mission isn't, isn't to educate the public about what word they should be using.

Speaker 6: We just have to talk about the policy reasons for, for making marijuana legal, using a word that they know. So it is totally name recognition. Yeah, sure. Yep. Interesting. Now will, that's fascinating. All right. So, so there you have it, I guess, you know, you're feeling pretty good about this. Um, I guess let's, let's carry that forward if, you know, if most of these things do happen, if most of these states do vote this in, I'm forgetting about what happens at the top of the ticket, although that will certainly, uh, you know, affect everything. Um, w, what are your thoughts of what the focus will be in 2017 and, and by the focus, I mean your focus, you know, let's assume that we get a nearly 100 percent of what we're going for on these balance. Uh, what's, what Steve Fox, his next fight. Yeah. My, my next fight is working at the federal level. I'm going to be working with the National Cannabis Industry Association to launch the NCIA Policy Council, which is going to be focused on developing policy at the federal level and trying to ensure that, that what's done is done thoughtfully and strategically and I'm responsibly and so and uh, that uh, dovetails with CRC are of course, right? Yeah. Yeah, it does. I mean, not to get into the nitty gritty details here, um, but a lot of the work we were doing a under CRC are, which is the council on responsible cannabis regulation.

Speaker 6: Some of that policy work or most of the policy work is actually going to be shifted to this new policy council. Uh, excellent. Crc are, will continue to do work as we're doing this week, but with a large delegation from New Jersey, I'm in showing elected officials around Colorado and introducing them to the regulated system and providing all a cart. I mean, sort of ad hoc, sorry, um, advice to, to legislators and regulators as needed. Um, but, but most of the policy work will be done under NCAA. Okay. And so when, you know, let's start the conversation and not finish it of course, but, you know, as far as this policy,

Speaker 5: um, outfit, um, I would imagine you're, you're going to be talking to folks that, uh, have been associated with the, you know, understanding the, uh, uh, the issue, uh, to begin with. So, you know, roar backer, uh, and you know, Blumenauer and you know

Speaker 6: who, who else? Oh, well, I mean, there, there will be the regular cast of characters like those who you mentioned. Um, but without going through a list of supporters, I mean, I would say this is going to be a broader, a broader effort. I mean there's, there's going to be, you saw after the 2012 election, a real burst of activity on the federal level and that is going to happen again, uh, after this election because even if California were the only state to pass, which I don't expect, but even if it were, you'd be at a point where I think it would be 20 percent of the population the United States was living in a state with, with legal marijuana and it just has to be dealt with at the federal level. So we'll, we'll be doing this broadly and we, we intend to be the group that legislators and many members of Congress turned to when they need insight into, um, what makes sense from a, from a community perspective, from an industry perspective. And so on. Is we want to, we want to really be partners in this process because congress is new to this, everyone is new to this and we have been on the front lines, we understand what works, what doesn't work, what, what makes sense and what, what needs to be done and we really want to be seen as a beneficial and collaborative partner in, in developing law at the federal, federal level.

Speaker 5: Yeah. And just to make sure that we're all on the same page. I mean, you know, humor me if you would, in terms of what works and what doesn't work, what, what is the initial set of information that you're going in with as far as what does work and what doesn't work? Share?

Speaker 6: Well, I mean they're, they're big picture questions here that, that need to be addressed and I, I'm not gonna speak for the policy council yet because even within the policy council it's going to be a collaborative effort and we're going to build consensus and so on. So I'm not, I'm not gonna speak for the council yet before, before it actually meets for the person. That makes sense, but, but with like you've been around politics, but with that said, the first thing will be focused on is really the big picture and by that I mean there are questions that need to be answered about whether marijuana is going to be regulated like alcohol, whether it's going to be regulated like an herbal supplement, whether it's going to be treated like a pharmaceutical or, or all of the above. And also there has been legislation out there about something called the wave and restrict policy that would, that would make it so that states receive waivers if they have regulated marijuana and that waiver is issued by the Department of Justice and that waiver could be pulled if things aren't going well. Um, so there's a question like whether you go in that direction or, or whether you just push for, um, for full legalization, meaning treated, treated like alcohol and let states do what they want and not have a leash on them. So we really need to examine the pros and cons of the various proposals and figure out what makes the most sense.

Speaker 5: Well, no one's going to have a passionate argument either way, so that job should be easy

Speaker 6: right now. It, it should be fun and I'm definitely.

Speaker 5: Yeah, you've got your work cut out for you as far as the next fight that Steve is fighting. I mean it well done. You know, uh, you know, you just wrote a book before, you know, marijuana is safer, easy peasy, you know, getting, getting, getting it passed in Colorado. Easy peasy. Now you're a years. Here's the real one, right? Yeah,

Speaker 6: yeah. You know, it's, it's all, all part of the same process. They're all, they're all steps toward making marijuana legal in the world.

Speaker 5: Indeed. And I do, I do want to make sure that everyone knows and you know as well, that's pure sarcasm. Neither of those things was easy. None of this stuff is easy. And, and that's why, uh, you know, every time, thank you so much for everything that you have done. Thank you so much for everything that you're doing and it's good to hear you know about the fact that we've got you in the right place moving forward. You know, that's what folks are going to be talking about. You're right. Once, uh, once we have all my. Oh, so many states, um, you know, legal both with medical and adult use a, here comes a federal regulations. Hopefully. Um, I've, I've asked you this before. I wonder if you'll answer it this time as far as the final question on the soundtrack of your life. One track one song that's got to be on there. Steve Fox, will you answer at this time?

Speaker 6: I honestly can't believe that, uh, that I've now been hit with the same question twice and the second time I wasn't even prepared to answer. Uh, so, uh, I, I'll, I'll just go with what, what I went with last time, which is to, to let, let Jamie, Lewis Beck, she's in charge, you know, west coast rap and we're good with that. Something will,

Speaker 5: that is exactly what we'll do. Steve, thanks so much again. And I will, I'll call you on Wednesday, November ninth and um, you know, we'll just discuss this offline because a, that'll be an interesting day no matter what. Right? Indeed, it certainly will. All right, well thank you. So you got to Steve. Okay, and there you have Steve Fox.

Speaker 1: I love the fact that all eyes now turn to federal legislation. Of course there's much work to be done at the state level all around the country specifically after election day, but here we go. Next face. A thanks to Steve Fox. As always, thanks to you as always, very much appreciate you listening.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.