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Ep.220: John Morgan & Ben Pollara

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.220: John Morgan & Ben Pollara

Ep.220: John Morgan & Ben Pollara

Florida Cannabis: John Morgan, Yes On 2 & Ben Pollara, United For Care

John Morgan joins us and discusses Florida cannabis. He takes us through how 58%, a loss in Florida two years ago, was turned into 71% this year. He shares philosophies that most winning ballot measures share but firmly adds that the American public may just be getting real tired of what opioids are doing to the populace…and that cannabis is a welcome alternative. John also shares that he came to cannabis as medicine through the experiences of his father and brother.
Ben Pollara then joins us as he’s the guy that drafted John. The interview takes place at a coffee shop on the shoulder of US1 where Ben shares how in fact he drafted John, what’s in the measure that passed as well as what to expect next from Florida cannabis.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: John Morgan and Ben Pollara, John Morgan joins us and discusses Florida cannabis. He takes us through how 58 percent a loss in Florida two years ago was turned into 71 percent this year. He shared philosophies that most winning ballot measure share, but firmly ants, that the American public may just be getting real tired of what opioids are doing to the populace in the cannabis is a welcome alternative. John also shares that he came to cannabis as medicine through the experiences of his father and brother Ben Pollara than joins us as he's the guy that drafted John. The interview takes place at a coffee shop on the shoulder of us, one where Ben shares how in fact he drafted John. What's in the measure that passed as well as what to expect next from Florida. Canada's welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the hand mechanic economy. Two, ends of the word economy. John Morgan, Ben Pollara Sandwich

Speaker 3: on a piece of bread, which is my lunch.

Speaker 4: Okay. I, you know, I'm a. I'm a big fan of Jewish rye. Not only because I'm Jewish, it just also because it tastes good.

Speaker 3: Do you live with or without?

Speaker 4: I'm a big fan of the caraway seeds. I'll admit it. There you go. John Morgan, you're more than just seats. You're certainly not stems. You're, you're all flour, my friend, as far as I'm concerned

Speaker 3: by the way.

Speaker 4: Oh, that's fair. That's fair. Um, I, I get it from the baker down the street, but you know what, we can talk about that later. Uh, what have you done for us here, John? I mean, we spoke to Ben Pollara who put us in touch and um, my goodness, 70 percent in Florida. Let's just start there and congratulate you. How about that?

Speaker 3: Thank you very much.

Speaker 4: So, you know, let's just go to a, the first moment in time when you realized that a cannabis and medical cannabis specifically is a, is exactly your issue. Uh, when that became your issue,

Speaker 3: what my thoughts were on it. I told him, he said, would you be willing to help with some financing? I'm probably would have told you about my brother. And my father believed that the war on drugs was before I got married.

Speaker 4: So you bring up your father, you bring up your brother, you know, take them in order. Maybe age wise, uh, uh,

Speaker 3: father, my father was a smoker and had emphysema, cfpb, he was really advanced shape. He was on oxygen. He had no appetite at high anxiety. Obviously you're, you're smothering the death. And he was wasted away. And I kept saying to him, I said, Daddy, you know, which you really ought to do is just to smoke some marijuana. It will help you go help your appetite immensely. It will help your anxiety, will relax you and you need all three of those things. And he was like, John, hell no. I'm not doing drugs. I've never done drugs. I don't want to do drugs. And I'm like, Daddy, you know, you're tethered to an oxygen machine. Who the fuck cares that now this is about survival and die with dignity. I don't know. And so I had this caregiver there, dolores who was taking care of it. But one afternoon I came in to say hello. And he was sitting there in front of a pot roast dinner with a Miller lite Miller lite and he's got his big shitty grin on his face and he goes, John, I go, you're out of bed. He goes, he goes, you were right. That shit works.

Speaker 1: John Morgan and Ben Pollara, John Morgan joins us and discusses Florida cannabis. He takes us through how 58 percent a loss in Florida two years ago was turned into 71 percent this year. He shared philosophies that most winning ballot measure share, but firmly ants, that the American public may just be getting real tired of what opioids are doing to the populace in the cannabis is a welcome alternative. John also shares that he came to cannabis as medicine through the experiences of his father and brother Ben Pollara than joins us as he's the guy that drafted John. The interview takes place at a coffee shop on the shoulder of us, one where Ben shares how in fact he drafted John. What's in the measure that passed as well as what to expect next from Florida. Canada's welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the hand mechanic economy. Two, ends of the word economy. John Morgan, Ben Pollara Sandwich

Speaker 3: on a piece of bread, which is my lunch.

Speaker 4: Okay. I, you know, I'm a. I'm a big fan of Jewish rye. Not only because I'm Jewish, it just also because it tastes good.

Speaker 3: Do you live with or without?

Speaker 4: I'm a big fan of the caraway seeds. I'll admit it. There you go. John Morgan, you're more than just seats. You're certainly not stems. You're, you're all flour, my friend, as far as I'm concerned

Speaker 3: by the way.

Speaker 4: Oh, that's fair. That's fair. Um, I, I get it from the baker down the street, but you know what, we can talk about that later. Uh, what have you done for us here, John? I mean, we spoke to Ben Pollara who put us in touch and um, my goodness, 70 percent in Florida. Let's just start there and congratulate you. How about that?

Speaker 3: Thank you very much.

Speaker 4: So, you know, let's just go to a, the first moment in time when you realized that a cannabis and medical cannabis specifically is a, is exactly your issue. Uh, when that became your issue,

Speaker 3: what my thoughts were on it. I told him, he said, would you be willing to help with some financing? I'm probably would have told you about my brother. And my father believed that the war on drugs was before I got married.

Speaker 4: So you bring up your father, you bring up your brother, you know, take them in order. Maybe age wise, uh, uh,

Speaker 3: father, my father was a smoker and had emphysema, cfpb, he was really advanced shape. He was on oxygen. He had no appetite at high anxiety. Obviously you're, you're smothering the death. And he was wasted away. And I kept saying to him, I said, Daddy, you know, which you really ought to do is just to smoke some marijuana. It will help you go help your appetite immensely. It will help your anxiety, will relax you and you need all three of those things. And he was like, John, hell no. I'm not doing drugs. I've never done drugs. I don't want to do drugs. And I'm like, Daddy, you know, you're tethered to an oxygen machine. Who the fuck cares that now this is about survival and die with dignity. I don't know. And so I had this caregiver there, dolores who was taking care of it. But one afternoon I came in to say hello. And he was sitting there in front of a pot roast dinner with a Miller lite Miller lite and he's got his big shitty grin on his face and he goes, John, I go, you're out of bed. He goes, he goes, you were right. That shit works.

Speaker 4: And he wasn't talking about the Miller lite

Speaker 3: chaser, just marijuana off and on until the day that for, for uh, for appetite, for anxiety and for just peace of mind. He ultimately died of from, from smoking cigarettes. And then my brother killed when he was a senior in high school, was paralyzed in a diving accident. Disney world was a quadriplegic. And over time that he has pain is unbearable and the spasms are, his legs are like rubber bands. And every once in a while they just explode and jump. And you know, the drugs, they had him on the Percocet, Darvocet does xanax. It was enough to put it up, but he would take a hit of marijuana and his pain, whether real or phantom would dissipate and the spasms would it be eliminated immediately.

Speaker 4: Unbelievable.

Speaker 3: And it was unbelievable. And He, and he used it. He worked here for 25 years. He worked, he would take in the morning to get there today when he needed a deep function, perfectly ran my call center, about 200 people. And um, so in my lifetime I got to see it up close and personal and, you know, it's like I tell people, I don't know why it works. I don't know what aloe takes care of Sunburns, I have no idea and I don't really understand how water quenches thirst, but I just know that when you rub aloe on your shoulders to sunburn goes away. And when you take a drink of water, thirst goes away. And when you smoke marijuana, the pain and anxiety goes away. Your appetite goes up. And so I'm a believer

Speaker 4: to go back to the house when you were a kid, you know, when you mentioned your dad saying, I never did drugs, never going to do drugs. Talk about, you know, maybe 17 year old, uh, John Morgan, one seven talking to your dad, like how big of a, of an issue was this for him to have to get over in his own mind, uh, to, to find peace in his medicine.

Speaker 3: Both my parents were severe alcoholics. Oh, interesting. But on the other hand, we're extremely opposed to drugs but don't use smoke pot. But I was, I never wanted to disappoint him. So while people were smoking pot in high school and college, I never did because I always thought that would disappoint my bad.

Speaker 4: There's tons of sons that are listening to you and understand exactly what you're talking about.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I didn't want to disappoint

Speaker 4: my dad even though with the subway he kind of disappointed me because he never took, stopped drinking ever. But I never wanted to disappoint him. So it wasn't on the table for any of us. And so a 17 year old that was around me. I mean, I'd be, that'd be on the car and my friends would be smoking, but you know, I'd be drinking boone's farm, you know. So it's like, you know, I'm not going to smoke marijuana, but I will drink farm and it drives the car. Let's be honest.

Speaker 3: It's a travesty as do most things in life. John. A lot of fun with boots.

Speaker 4: So, you know, how uh, how old was your father when he saw your brother get a relief? Uh, in, in cannabis or where did that square knots circle?

Speaker 3: My father was. My father was acting when he was dying. He moved in with a place that I had in place for. Daddy was there watching. He was living with and before that was a little bit of a hell raiser himself to play poker and drink wild Turkey, but they've lived together. So he knew that he used it for his pain and spasms. There was a time where they were prescribed Xanax a day for a kill. I don't know if you've ever had in Europe and I've had trouble getting me up.

Speaker 4: That's exactly right.

Speaker 3: Apple. I mean my wife was up on the, on my meal. Are you alive?

Speaker 4: Jesus.

Speaker 3: And so me, when a quadriplegic, he's got nothing from the nipple staff. So when he dresses, it's an ordeal. The lucky part is he's what we call a super quiet, so he could drive, he could, you know, he was, you know, live alone. He didn't have to have an aide. And so that was the, I guess the blessing, uh, out of all of it. So my dad knew that Tim knew that it helped him, but he's still resisted it for himself at the end until I think that he finally one day said to himself what I've been saying for a long time, which was nothing from nothing equals nothing. I mean, you know, you are die and if you want to lay here fetal position or you want to sit up and have a pot roast with the titers and baby onions and a Miller lite and watch television. And that's what he did.

Speaker 4: So listen, so we don't have a ton of time because as I'm sure everyone can hear, you and I are not in the same room. So I want to kind of save more of the personal stuff for when we get together. Again, down the line. I do want to hammer home here, what happened with this, uh, with this ballot initiative and, and um, you know, you know, you had 58 percent last time and kind of crossing that threshold at the, at the finish line, when did you start to feel good about this is my first question and then we'll zero in on what, what, what's in the bill and what's important to you

Speaker 3: almost from the beginning because I knew that the arguments that they had used against me, bullshit

Speaker 4: and just go through those just in case, just to make sure

Speaker 3: you know what the caregiver has to be licensed now and they weren't before. They have the caregivers are going to be in the drugs. One was the children couldn't get this without a parental, you know, the parents. It was, there were red herrings tied down and them loopholes. I closed the loopholes and then their greatest argument I always felt was that it should not be the form of a constitutional amendment to be done legislatively. And we've given them two years to do it legislatively and they didn't do it.

Speaker 4: They did not walk and chew gum at the same time.

Speaker 3: They did not. And so I felt good from the beginning. I felt nervous because I was worried that Sheldon Adelson, they come back here with a bunch of money.

Speaker 4: It turns out that went to Arizona,

Speaker 3: that went to Arizona with the makers of fentanyl. By the way, the makers of fentanyl, which is an opiate wedding, kills tens of thousands of people a year. They gave three and a half million out there. So there's tell you, they could even hide it anymore. They didn't even hide behind some of the people easily to defeated. So the makers of setting all put in three and a half million dollars. And um, and then I felt good because I was talking to political operatives who were telling me things like, you know, the chambers. Paul had an 70 percent and then, you know, if money wasn't coming to it and couldn't find a poll at the Hillary Clinton people I was talking to them, they were pulling it. He couldn't find anybody that had it anywhere close to 60, which is what I, the night of the election, I felt very confident that was in a web,

Speaker 4: not anywhere close to 60 on the downside is your point. Okay.

Speaker 3: So as long as I was pole added 64, but still, you know, and that, that made me pause. But if you know, and as we've seen all these poles, these pollsters made me the biggest crooks in the world, just making shit up to get money and to raise money.

Speaker 4: We can agree that they did not do such a great job this time out. No matter what your politics,

Speaker 3: I believe. I believe these pollsters polls just to raise money.

Speaker 4: Well, let's, let's talk about what was working. If you're saying that the numbers were with you kind of the whole way you had wind at your back, what do you think it was? Because we're not talking about a monochromatic state there, you know, you're not talking about Montana. There's a whole bunch of different types of people there in Florida. So, so what was it, what, what gave you that? That, uh, that wind and that kind of air.

Speaker 3: Well, one of the things I would say when I did speak, I'd say, look for presidential candidates running in to my knowledge, only agree on medical marijuana people political cover do whether you're a Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian, and I would say that, you know, illness and injury and disease does not take political parties. And I think at the end of the day people knew that also, look, by the time we get here today, except for very few of them have been around, marijuana has sat around. They've been around, they're not fearful of it. The 80 year old man, 80 year old woman is still fearful of it. They don't, they don't know every vote over 60 all the way up to a hundred or whatever. How are they live? Vote against me from 18 inches to get weaker and weaker and weaker. We go to 60 to 65 and 70. And you know, in a general election, gonna nod, general election, you know, look, people 80 years old or they're looking for any excuse to have something to. Did they look forward to, you know, go into the doctor

Speaker 4: big day,

Speaker 3: big day, so got to do it now in a general election. Everybody's coming out in the NOC and the one I did before who are the non general exited at all year. And so I didn't have the volume of people.

Speaker 4: Yeah, 58

Speaker 3: percent looked. Libertarians tend to be more Republican than Democrat, therefore like leave me alone. Do with my body what I want to do. Who are you? People are, who are you? Keep the government out of my life Democrats support. So that was good. Then I take the Republicans themselves or like you don't want, we're, we, you know, we get these, this pharmaceutical industry gives an evil evil group of people. And, and, and here's the say whether you're rich or poor. If your child or loved one has been on oxygen or any kind of opiod when you've seen firsthand the fallout, whether it'd be death addicted, destruction, you've seen it, you've seen it destroy your loved one, you know? And, and that means that, you know, we know that 40,000 people die every year from opioids. How many are addicted, how many millions of people are affected because their loved one is hook and I think a lot of people said to themselves, you know, what we need to do, we don't need to be supported. The opioid industry, this is, this is something that nobody's ever died from an overdose. There's never been a domestic violence call as a result of marijuana. And I just said to the tipping point in time of time, but it was, it would, it, it really did.

Speaker 4: We'll be talking to each other just to reveal on the day that, uh, senator sessions is going through his confirmation hearing. Um, and uh, we talked about just before we started the fact that he didn't necessarily, uh, you know, say, say really glowing stuff. He kind of said, if this is what the federal law is, if the Congress wants to change it, they should change it and I'm going to use my best judgment as far as a legal cannabis is concerned. Um, what does that make you think? I guess if I can ask you one real time question.

Speaker 3: Well, it's always interesting to me that are very much in favor of states rights until it's a state, right? That they disagree with it.

Speaker 4: There you go.

Speaker 3: And so I hope that senator sessions has never been me. He is one of those older men that I was talking about earlier. Does it fully understand the difference between marijuana and LSD? Heroin, I just think it's a bowl of m and m's and it's a bunch of pdps and crazies that are doing this. So you've got, you know, you've got an older man. I mean you've got an older man, but his big boss, a prop was in favor of this. I don't know, I don't know how that reconciles.

Speaker 4: You can kind of find comments on, on both sides, but I, you know, hey, we'll, we'll, we'll see. Let's, uh, let's leave the conjecture aside. I guess for the rest of it,

Speaker 3: the jobs tax base in real estate, you want to come in and really damage the economy in a big way. Undo what's been done in all these states. And if you want to have a business that is not going to be destroyed, that technology or overseas, this is the one that won't be

Speaker 4: only aided by technology. That's right. It can't be destroyed that by technology, by definition. All right, so listen. So you know, again, I would love to talk to you again so we can kind of go in the wayback machine and learn all about you if you don't mind. Right? Right. But for this time, I'll just ask you the three final questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. The first one is going to be a what has most surprised you in cannabis? The second is what has most surprised you in life? And then on the third, uh, on the soundtrack of John Morgan's life named one track, one song that's got to be on there, but first things first, what has surprised you most in cannabis?

Speaker 3: Staggering number of people who are desperately in need of it desperately wanted to hundreds of thousands in America. Millions of people who don't want to be relying on pharmaceutical poisons.

Speaker 4: It's tough to get your point of view on the, uh, on the pharmaceuticals there. John, there you go. So, you know, understanding that, uh, you just mentioned one part of it. You're, you're obviously a lawyer and we'll talk more about that another time, but what has most surprised you in life? If we can get that answer now?

Speaker 3: Past hate radio when you really are with people, the goodness of men and women, that really when you royally get past all of that, after all the noise and all the sound and all the executives that, that there is a real goodness in men and women and the reason I believe that is because the god that I believe in does not reside in heaven with a white beard and long hair hanging out. The God that I believe in lives of people.

Speaker 4: Amen. I'm in on that one. No question.

Speaker 3: So that's what most surprised me and pleased me.

Speaker 4: And so finally, either the toughest question are most easy a soundtrack of your life. One track one song that's got to be on there.

Speaker 3: I'm not here for a long time, but I'm here for a good time.

Speaker 4: Oh, that's good. Well, I thought you might do a. I've got friends in low places.

Speaker 3: There's a way for me to make money, but if somebody at a country club, absolutely not. If there's a way for me to make money will go to the country club, but I'll dive bars and hamburgers.

Speaker 4: Amen to that. My friend John Morgan. There's so much more to talk about. We will, but for the time being, thanks so much. Very much. Appreciate your time and again, congratulations on the win in Florida.

Speaker 1: This episode is also supported by consumer soft. Face it, your life starts and stops with your multiple devices. Technology is the centrifical force of running your life or your small business. Chaos ensues. If a device fails you, whether it be for your laptop, apple or android device, consumer soft is immediately available through my phone support for consumers and technical support. Lie for businesses. Get Fast, professional assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, removed that feeling of panic when something goes wrong. Call Eight, five, five, six, nine, eight, three, two, four, one or go to consumer soft.com.

Speaker 5: Ben, I appreciate you welcoming me into your state. Thank you for coming. I appreciate your, what you have done for all of us. You're the man behind 71 percent. I mean, that's pretty much it, right? Well, I appreciate it. Hey, I'd love to take credit, but I think it goes a lot to, to our chairman. John Morgan is really demand behind it, but $8,000,000 of his own money into getting this thing off on the ballot twice and getting it passed both times with huge margins. But uh, but this time around with the 71 percent that we actually needed to put it into the law. But then I'd also give the credit that just the law that we were putting forward, right? And people, people tend to believe that medical decisions, shocker should be made between doctors and patients. And so we didn't have a especially controversial proposition to begin with.

Speaker 5: Although $10,000,000 worth of negative ads tried to make it controversial. But, um, you know, I think those are the two big backers that promotes credit. Let's dive in and unpack those things that you just mentioned. I had the pleasure of speaking with John through the miracle of podcasts. He's interview will probably be put forward. This one in this same episode can do it that way. And he says that you found him A. Yeah, that is true, right? That is true. I did a poll. I'm in early 2013. I had run some political committees in 2012 and had some money leftover. And so I did a poll in early 2013 that looked at a few things in the, in the electoral landscape, but the biggest was floridians attitudes towards marijuana and um, and the, most of those questions were targeted towards medical marijuana. And the results were tremendous.

Speaker 5: I think at that point it was 70 or 71 percent of Floridians supported medical marijuana. There's that number of international for medical marijuana. And I gave the poll results of the Miami Herald. They did a big story and went out and raised $50,000, check towards a nascent effort. And after the Miami Herald article came out, a buddy of mine who lives in Jacksonville was a political consultant, who knows John Morgan, excuse me, emailed me and said, you got to talk to Morgan about this. He's very into the issue. Uh, and I had known John for 10 years, democratic politics. I'd been kicked out of his office as a young fundraiser, done fundraisers at his home, showed up one night at his house and told him I'm going to do a little private event with Bill Clinton and your pool room. He was like, okay. So I know John for awhile. So I sent him an email with the poll results with the Herald article and he wrote back immediately and said, mark my words, I will spearhead this.

Speaker 5: There you go. Three or four days later, I was, uh, it was in a car on my way up to Orlando. And I had lunch with him and he told me at that point that he wanted to be the chairman of this organization. Excellent. You, you keep on giving us a lot of information in these paragraphs that you speak. And so I'm getting to where you come in. Why did you create this poll? What, why is this an issue for you? Let's start there. Um, well, it kind of two different questions. So I created the pole because I know I was going into the very beginning of the 2014 election cycle and basically I just wanted to write my own destiny for the election cycle. I mean, I'm a political consultant so my life is every two years and so we got to see what the issues are going to be 10.

Speaker 5: So I just wanted to write my own ticket for that year and instead of waiting around for a client, you know, kind of find my own thing like clearly did with this, that and in terms of why medical marijuana is important to me. I mean, it's something that's always been near and dear to my heart. I mean, just personally, I am a believer in the medicinal benefits of marijuana and I'm a believer in marijuana reform generally. Um, and uh, and my reasons on the medical side in particular or that I've seen a lot of people in my life and my family suffer from addiction will have lost their lives, who've lost years from their lives as a result of addiction, almost always beginning with legal prescription drugs. And I'm a big believer in the notion that we take too many drugs, uh, as a society. And so to the extent that they can be supplemented or replaced entirely with whether it's marijuana or anything else, uh, that's a good thing for all of us.

Speaker 5: And, uh, that's always been my belief and going to during the course of this campaign that's been willed out a little bit through data, right? I mean, there was that big study a couple of years ago that showed a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical marijuana laws in the books. I think there was a more recent one that showed a similar reduction in, in addiction rates in states with medical marijuana laws. So medical marijuana, not only palliative and helps people have a better quality of life, saves lives, saves lives. It keeps people off the pills that and keeps people from overdosing where you went through in Florida, we went through this horrible pill mill epidemic, which we then shut down the pill mills and is followed by, you know, the logical conclusion, which is the heroin epidemic, which is a shocker resulting in a, in, uh, here in Miami Dade County, at least a mini HIV epidemic.

Speaker 5: Uh, and it's horrible and you know, marijuana, medical marijuana can, uh, can strike a blow torch. Yeah, nearly solve all those issues, type of thing to solve, but certainly have a significant impact on the reduction of, of death and addiction and the resulting HIV and other infectious disease transmission rates that come from people using intravenous drugs. We will get to your history as a political consultant, but we, we have to touch on the fact that you just had Bill Clinton. He just mentioned, you know, I'm going to bring Bill Clinton to your, to your pool house, I think you said. Yeah. Well, just the relationship with Bill Clinton as well. I, I was one of the first people hired on Hillary's a first presidential campaign. I was hired before Christmas in 2006. I worked for free for six weeks. Um, and then I was for Florida finance director starting in January of 2007 when she announced all the way through June, July of 2008 after she had already gotten out of the race and endorse.

Speaker 5: Now President Obama. Um, so in 2012 I was running a super pac for bill Nelson, who's our senior senator here, who I worked for in 2005, 2006. And Bill Clinton is a big Bill Nelson Fan and was doing a fundraiser for him in Orlando, John Morgan's house. And so I emailed a President Clinton's chief of staff, Doug and said, hey, I'm doing this Super Pac, um, can I get 30 minutes with the president after, after he's done with the Nelson event to pitch to pitch the larger donors on the super back? And he said, sure. Um, and so, you know, they had this big fundraiser for Nelson, a couple of hundred people in John at John's home in Lake Mary. And after the speeches and the pictures and everything like that, I pulled the president into John's whole house and we had a smaller group of about 15 people in a full house for this little super back abandoned.

Speaker 5: But I showed up at John's house and he was like, what are you doing here? I got a little. I got a little room after, after the thing. He was like, all right, whatever. But it was good because the result was that Clinton stuck around and hung out at his house for another, like hour and a half. So it was great for John. I don't know how much you can share here because I don't know how much has been, is out there as far as what Bill Clinton's stances on the issue. Uh, I, I frankly don't know during the presidential campaign I was much more concerned about what Hillary Clinton's stance was because I'm just saying he was at that fundraiser. Oh yeah. But that was, that was before my days as a, as a marijuana activist. So this was not, this was. No, this was for a Bill Nelson Super.

Speaker 5: This was actually the Super Pac that I had money leftover that allow me to do the poll to start off. Thank you for clearing that up because I hope I'm not alone in thinking that there was a connection there. Oh No. So I don't know where we're at. Bill Clinton's stands on marijuana reform, you know, his history on it is obviously not spectacular, but I was much more concerned with Hillary and you know, I worked for her in 2007, 2008. I have a ton of loyalty to her. So I was very involved in her campaign this time, just as a donor and a volunteer and I spoke to her about it a number of times throughout the campaign and it was a huge, a huge blow to me personally when she last presidential election, but I think a huge blow to the nascent medical marijuana industry and, and uh, and maybe less so the marijuana reform movement, but certainly the industry because this is an industry that grapes the status quo and the stability.

Speaker 5: And I think that's what Hillary was offering. And a trump, you know, may end up being right on marijuana issues, I kind of doubted, but I think Donald Trump to the marijuana movement represents chaos. Whereas Hillary representative status quo and instability, which was kind of the lines along which the presidential campaign were drawn as it was, I mean the Democratic Platform, pat medical marijuana as well as just the cannabis in general in it. And we've seen a trump's pick for a attorney general. So obviously those, those lines are where they are good people don't smoke marijuana and less like the KKK and smoked marijuana. But let's leave that, come back to it later if we have time because what I'd rather talk about literally is what is the, in the build. And that's, that is the real use of the word literally dive in. You said you had a good bill to work with. You had John, you had a good bill. Tell us all about, you know, um, as far as what were the true kind of tent poles in there, what are the true tent poles in there that made the thing run? Would that make the thing run in terms of the language of the constitution? Dammit. Yeah. I mean, I think first and foremost, it clarifies

Speaker 3: Dr the doctor documentation relationship above all else. How so?

Speaker 5: Well, it it, it, it removes civil and criminal penalties for four positions, issuing certifications to patient, recommending the use of marijuana, removes those criminal and civil liability is for patients or caregivers for owners, officers and employees, a medical marijuana treatment centers, and it does so in a way that respects, respects the doctor patient relationship and respects the trust that we have in our society for dominance. One of my tenants during the drafting process of the amendment was if there is anything where qualification is based on an arbitrary list, whether it's one that we write or the legislature writes or the Department of Health rights or some sort of governmental board rights. I don't want to have any part of it. Right? This it needs to be a sale is made entirely within the context of doctor patient relationship. I think that's what we got in the amendment. I mean it.

Speaker 5: It says we list a number of medical conditions. What are just, you know, cancer, HIV, AIDS, blah, coma, epilepsy, PTSD, Chrohn's disease, Parkinson's, chronic pain, all I know, but then it is followed by the clause or other debilitating medical conditions have a similar kind or class as we're comparable to those enumerated and for which a physician believes the potential benefits of the use of medical marijuana would outweigh the helpless or the patient chronic pain with Monica. Correct. With, with the, with the qualification that it'd be a debilitating medical condition. The choice is up to the doctor and of course after the patient as to whether they want to follow their doctors. So, uh, let's give the centrifical force of the bill, the doctor, patient relationship coming out from there. Talk about businesses, you know, as far as licenses, how they work, limitations in number, etc.

Speaker 5: Sure. Well, So I mean we, we passed a constitutional amendment and it's the only vehicle in Florida for citizens mission of a lot of states have statutory initiatives where you're voting in the law statute. I think When Massachusetts cosmetics, they voted on a couple of hundred word summary, but there were voting into law, a 50 page bill, right? Whereas we had to collect almost a mIllion signatures for the entirety of our constitution, lemon. It was paid in the half back and forth. And so constitutional amendments by their nature are broad statements of principles that are, that necessitate laws and rules and regulations. So an approach that has worked in Colorado so far, right? Right. Maybe less so in California. Uh, but, well we'll see with that was that was a failure of the legislature not have the, uh, the constitutional amendment. Um, but, uh, so anyway, so we set up a medical marijuana industry under the constitution amendment because it's necessary to, when you're legalizing something that is for a narrow purpose, that is illegal for all other purposes.

Speaker 5: You can't just do it by fiat to set up a way for people to get safe, reasonable access to that medical marijuana. So the constitutional limit does set up an industry in the form of what we call it, medical marijuana treatment centers. Okay. Uh, under the amendment. And it leaves a lot of, a lot of the decision making in terms of how to regulate them, what they look like, how many. There are two keys that to the state legislature and the department of health. Um, it does, uh, it does require a will not required, but it does, it does set out in the definition of medical marijuana treatment centers, a number of different discreet business functions such as well, such as, you know, growing, processing, dispensing and educational. Um, and the, the car, while we have one of these, um, you know, we have one of these kinds of medical marijuana in name only laws here in Florida.

Speaker 5: What are these high, high cbd, low thc laws. And under that law there has been a half a dozen now seven businesses authorized to become what they call under this law, the dispensing organizations. And they're all required to be soup to nuts, vertically integrated. They have to grow process, shift retail all under one monitor kit and caboodle, right? Uh, and so, and so to the extent that there's gonna be a major impact just in the basic text, in the law, on the current system, it is that it would be unconstitutional under amendment to require that vertical integration. I think what the law requires based on how we wrote it, based on diplopia contemplating at a time was a number of different discreet Functions of medical marijuana industry that could ostensibly be under one roof, one license, but a wireman that they, that they be, it would be unconstitutional, a limit of licenses.

Speaker 5: Is that up to the state legislature and be able to say, okay, great. What's with the nurseries? What's that whole language? What's with the nursery? So that mean that was part of this initial medical marijuana in name only law that they passed. Um, I don't know what the special interests logic was at the time, but you know, the, the legislature in 2014, I think partially as a reaction to the constitutional amendment we were putting on the ballot then as much or more so as a reaction to the families that were coming into the legislator's office is telling me just sob stories of these kids with intractable epilepsy and other seizure disorders. The desperation that they were feeling passed a, a high tea, high cbd, low thc law. Um, but they did it in a total vacuum, right? They didn't look at any other state's laws.

Speaker 5: Uh, they didn't really talk to anybody who knew anything except for the stanley brothers, which is why the law was always public charlotte's web law until recently. Um, and so, uh, and so they didn't put a whole lot of thought into it, but they didn't put a lot of thought into how they can take care of, you know, special interests donors and one of those ways it's putting in a requirement in the initial law that, um, that the people that operate this business be a nursery. Men who have operated under a single license for 30 years and grow over 300,000 plants. And so that's where the nursery provision came in and first of all, it's just silly and arbitrary, but second of all, it also had the fact though effect of boxing out any black businesses from the medical marijuana business. Um, so in the last legislative session that nursery provision was stripped from the current metaphor, quote medical marijuana law, and I guess hopefully it does not rear its head again.

Speaker 5: There you go. Gone but not forgotten her here. I forget it. So let's quickly talk through the loss, right? Let's quickly talk through a 58 percent, which is a loss only 58 percent of lawrence, you know, because I'd rather talk about this campaign, but what were the lessons learned from that initial campaign for you? Your initial pitch? He raised more money and spend it on television. Okay. And that's what happened when you got to chalk it up to just no tvs or it can't. I mean obviously it's so much more than that, but if that's the big lesson. Well, I mean, we got, that'd been, there was, there was lots of lessons. We did a lot wrong in 2014. We should get a lot wrong in 2016 and 2014. The bIggest lesson was don't get gigantically outspending right. I mean, the history of these marijuana reform initiatives has been historically that, that the performers have outspend the opposition and that paradigm got totally flipped on its head in the 2014, um, you know, kind of out of nowhere, we had this opposition group, drug free Florida that they've got right off the bat, a two and a half Million dollar contribution.

Speaker 5: sheldon adelson. Yeah. At the time was like the ninth richest man in the world. Now he's like 11 more guy. And uh, and then they got it. They got another 3 million throughout the course of the campaign, they raised a total of 7 million bucks, which, you know, I've, I've talked to, can be about this and fuck eaton. Nato went about this. The $7,000,000 that they raised and spent in 2014 was more by a factor of two or three. Then the total spent and raised against all medical marijuana, alcohol, marijuana, going back for the last 20 years we were out in Florida. We were outstanding in terms of every, in every marijuana reform initiative over the last decade. Um, and, uh, and that we still, you still got pretty damn close. I mean, we started, as I, as I shared with you a minute ago, our very first poll had us at 70 and after, you know, 6 million hours of negative tv ads, negative, misleading tv ads, we get 58 now.

Speaker 5: I've always said, you know, I believe if they had no money and just, you know, the sheriffs out there getting in front of tv cameras doing press conferences and they probably would have got us down to 63 in 2014. And so, you know, they basically spent a million dollars a point. But as a fan of the quotations of donald rumsfeld, you go to war with the army, you have not the army you want, right? And uh, and we went to war where you needed 60 percent, the wind and we got 58. So that's such an interesting. Based on your history and who you are, such an interesting person to quote for you. Oh, I love rami. I quote him all the time. But did you know the known knowns? Sure. Errol morris documentary. Anyway, getting back on track. So, so there's your 58 percent. I think I heard you say that they spend $10 million this time.

Speaker 5: No, no. All of a sudden done. All said and done. There's only 3 million this time. Now it was probably a little bit more than that, but it was probably closer to 4 million. So talk about money first. You knew that you had to have bank, if you will. So, uh, where did you go for that? Obviously john was a big part of it, but you know, what was your message? Two donuts outside of john horgan. We really had kind of three groups of donors. we had, we had donors like John Morgan who were ideological, did not have a financial interest in this. Just, you know, wealthy people who care about marijuana reform or care about medical marijuana. So I'm one of those people was a barbara steeple, um, who remains our largest single donor, not named John Morgan. She lives down the street people gables. And over the course of the two campaigns, she's probably getting about 2 million bucks.

Speaker 5: I'm the new approach pack, which is run by graham boyd, who was previously kind of Peter Lewis is marijuana reform conciliary, uh, gave us a million bucks in august. And that was, that was a big deal. Then we had our small donors, um, which we raised well over half a million from people responding to emails given 10, 25 $50 online. Um, and then, uh, and then we raised a good amount of money from the marijuana industry, both folks who are in the industry in other states, but also a Florida entrepreneurs who, who want to get into the industry. And my pitch to them was, um, if you want to be in this industry, in this state, that there is no industry in this state if we don't pass. And so, you know, you want to, you want to do well and, you know, help us do some good here. Uh, so that was the message to entrepreneurs, kind of what was the message to everyone else understanding a traditional reform language and raising money exclusive to Florida.

Speaker 5: What was the message specifically? What kind of like our online fundraising, but specific to Florida, what was different here? I don't know. We, we spent a lot of time and effort building a real rapport with our donor base. We didn't, we didn't do these crazy emails. I mean we did kind of towards the end, but we didn't do these crazy emails where you get six emails a day, please give us $3, begging, begging, please, please. We had a conversation with our donors. That was, I think really unique dark campaign. Uh, our biggest fundraiser was always John Morgan. Whenever john out an email, we'd always send out in what was clearly his voice, not a generic campaign email and people responded to that. Um, we have fun with, with our email program, but it was a, it was really not in the language of reform. We always spoke in the language of a kind of health care and compassion.

Speaker 5: Our biggest fundraising successes, we're not when we would do kind of like the tongue in cheek for 20 stuff or you know, the marijuana stuff, it was when we were talking about when we would talk about the, the tier Jordan, so when we would, we would have patients write emails when we want to do emails from john and talked about his brother and talked about the people that he met on the campaign trail. I mean it was those kind of those kind of healthcare oriented, really truly know medical marijuana oriented pitches that were the most successful for us. Yeah. So the initial polling was 70, 71 percent. It came down to 58 percent, if you will. What's the secret behind 71 percent? We just talked about messaging. We talked about money. Seventy one percent is ridiculous. That means that your opposition was in the twenties. That's crazy.

Speaker 5: What is it? What, how did we get to 71 percent? And I'll just ask that question. Well, I mean, again, I think it's a function of us starting there. I mean, the very first poll that we did in, uh, in january of 2013, we got 70 percent in the first campaign. We had three different pollsters and we did over the first year and a half of that campaign, three poles with those pollsters. First was 70, the second with the second pollster was 71. The third with our third pollster was 70 again. So we started with that kind of solid baseline. And during the 2014 campaign with the opposition waging this hugely expensive negative campaign, they never attacked medical marijuana mean they looked at the same polling data we did. They, uh, they ran a campaign where they attacked the fine points of the law. That was before the voters.

Speaker 5: Right? And they claimed as the law was defective because of certain loopholes that exist within it. so they never challenged the notion of marijuana as medicine. they never challenged the notion that these decisions should be made by the doctors. Yeah. Uh, and so, you know, basically as soon as the campaign was over, the numbers went back up because they never, they never went after that kind of core core part of what we were pushing for it. So then if every four years we as a nation try to figure out the Florida voter, which is what happens every four years, what is it about the Florida voter that put them at 70 percent to begin with? What do you think it is? Why, why is it, you know, obviously it's high everywhere else and you know, but this is, this is a bit higher than the national average certain, isn't it?

Speaker 5: I mean, isn't really higher than the national average on medical marijuana. I mean, I, I think the reason we're always trying to figure out the Florida voter is because Florida is such a, uh, such a microcosm of the rest of the country. Everybody mean this big, diverse state and diverse geographically diverse, ethnically diverse demographically. I mean, we're in miami dade county, which client is wellbeing, caracas, uh, you know, and, and you know, go up to the panhandle and you're, you're, you know, in Alabama, Mississippi, right? South Florida is famous for all the, you know, older jewish, italian, northeastern, know immigrants from, from, you know, New York and jersey and all that. Well, central Florida is filled with people from the midwest. Yeah. So not only are we just intrinsically diverse, but you know, we've got huge amount of immigration from south America, from central central America, central Florida, huge puerto rican population that new yorkers, uh, we, we've got, we've got mid westerners, we've got southerners. I mean this is, this is America. It is a. And so I think so, I think that's why we're always looking towards Florida and I think that's one of the reasons that I've always been saying that medical marijuana here is so important because if we can do it here in this big diverse swing state, uh, that means that the national support is really there. Yeah. It's the California argument with diversity. Exactly. We are, we are the better sunshine state. The actual sunshine.

Speaker 5: So then let's get into your history side, west side. There you go. Um, let's get into your history being that now, have you spent your whole time or did you grow up a. Where are you from? Let's get. Let's just get right to it. Where'd you grow up? Like many floridians. I was born in jersey. I grew up here in Florida. Got are almost all my life. The garden state if I'm not mistaken. Right. So you've been here almost all your life. How did you get involved in politics to begin with? Um, I've, I've always been interested in a thing saying, remember, you know, being a little kid, watching the first Iraq war on tv with my dad as well, watching that, watching, built on play sax, arsenio. sure. that happened to me. You know, I come from a political family. My uh, uh, my grandfather was a negotiator for the steelworkers said the director of research at the afl cio.

Speaker 5: Oh wow. Towards me. So there you go. There's the chops. I, my dad was the president of the Maryland chapter of the youth international party. You know, a big Vietnam war protest or so I come from a political political background and after I graduated from high school, phil mcbride may, he rest in peace was a, was running for governor of Florida in the democratic primary. His campaign office was three blocks from, uh, from my dad's townhouse in tampa. So I went and just plop, plop myself there everyday as a volunteer until somebody heard me on the phone and they're like, hey, you'd be a good fundraiser. and so sort of during the political fundraising, did a brief stint in college and came back and we came back after a year and basically worked full time in campaigns ever since I was 17, 18 years old.

Speaker 5: And then what, where are the, the, the kind of the steps on the ladder up because you mentioned some big names. How did we get there? ObviouSly earned a governorship race to begin with, but you know, truly for you it was an internal that governor's race. And then I came back and uh, it was the 2004 presidential campaign where there was, you know, 10 democrats running to go against the w in 2003, 2004. I worked for dick gephardt's presidential campaign in Iowa. I did not go to Iowa here in miami. that's actually brought me to miami. I live lived just down the street here where we are in a, in what is now the home of the hip hop producer. Timberland. Oh look at that. And at that point it was owned by a guy named stuart called. it was in the airplane leasing business, but no one by timberland.

Speaker 5: So I lived here for a little while working for gephardt, get hard, lost Iowa. I got kiCked out of the house, the house the next day she did that. And uh, and then I went back to tampa where, where I grew up and worked for the senate campaign of betty caster who lost narrowly to mel martinez in 2004. After that. When did we start winning then? I mean, that's, you know, a democrat in Florida. I could not tell you the answer to that. Obama won here twice and, and I've uh, I've worked for bill nelson over the years and built on winning. Right. So actually after the elections I was so despondent with the results both with john kerry and betty cast, or then my girlfriend at the time, um, was uh, was doing a year abroad in santiago, Chile and I went and visited her for about six weeks with travel around south America and then she was going to school at the university of british columbia in vancouver. So I went there to just kind of hang out and collect unemployment for a couple months ago. The canadian government know from the us travel, I guess. Yeah, direct deposit.

Speaker 5: So in the course of my job seeking a while there, I got an email from a friend of mine said, you know, bill nelson's up for reelection. He needs a south Florida fundraiser. You interested? Yeah. And I think it was on a plane like 70, two houRs later he got. So if a Florida is America and bill nelson keeps winning as a democrat, which is tough here in Florida, what is he doing and saying and what's right about what, you know, he's campaigning. Well, I think Florida is aMerica, but bill nelson is Florida. I don't know how else to put it, that I'm a huge bill. Nelson partisan, but he's. And then he is a uniquely Florida creature. How do you mean? Tell, tell, tell the rest of us. He's an old Florida cracker as he describes himself. He's been here for half a dozen generations. Uh, you know, he was an astronaut.

Speaker 5: He went up, but as a member of congress in an orbit in spaCe program, you know, he's just got, he's got a very hyper local focus. He's, he's, uh, he's been laser focused on keeping military bases open here on protecting the everglades, protecting our coast from offshore drilling. Tim teebo, you know, when we had, we had this big scourge of, uh, of, of anacondas and other and other exotic species, it would kind of invaded the everglades. He was all over that on snake comes oUt in the everglades on airboats carrying dead snake. So is uh, you know, is they'll tip o'neill all politics is local, right? Nelson, he was a democrat and he's got a moderate guy, but he's got a relatively liberal voting record. He votes with the party most of the time, but he's really not perceived as a partisan guy. He's perceived as a Florida guy.

Speaker 5: Right. That's the key. All right. So how did you get hooked in with the clintons would, when did that happen? That happened at the end of 2006. I had been working for bill nelson and, you know, raised a bunch of money for him doing all the south Florida fundraising and one of his big donors and fundraisers was a guy by the name of chris george who lives down the street from where we are. And chris, as you know, old friends of bill friends of hillary and I, you know, he knew me from the campaign. We'd done a fundraiser without board at his house. And so he basically brought me any hall to johnathan mann's finance director for hillary at the time and said the jonathan, you got hired ben pollara for your Florida fundraiser. And jonathan basically sight unseen ironman, uh, on the basis of the recommendation.

Speaker 5: So if every single person was wrong, no matter your political stripes about the election, you know, all of the I'm working with, right? By the way, John Morgan was, what did he say? Said there was something going on out there. I don't think she's going to win. Okay. Okay. He could feel like he was telling me that the day before they left. And you were telling me that the month before the, you know, john was probably one of the top three or five, definitely top 10 fundraisers in the country for him. So loved her, loved her. So he fell again, miracles of podcasting. uh, we will have found out from john about dad

Speaker 6: more about those thoughts. What if everyone is brilliant now, if everyone understands what happened now,

Speaker 5: what is your take on this non when, uh, what do you mean? What went, like, what lessons are wrong or no? What did she do wrong? What if everything that bill nelson does is right in Florida? What, what was, what happened to you? I mean, I know this is not a super popular mainstream opinion, but I don't know that hillary did a whole lot wrong. Okay. Right. I mean, you know, elections are about choices and uh, and, and trump set up very, very early on in the republican primary, a choice between status, status quo and let's blow it up. Right. And uh, and just, you know, jeb bush was a, uh, a jeb bush was a useful, a useful foil for that pitch in a, in the republican primary. Right. I mean, this guy was emblematic of the status quo, right? Uh, that was. Yeah, it was chris bosh. no, no, no. That's a John Howard from the fab five, a university of Michigan. Okay. Follow sports. But I knew that I was a basketball player and advance anyway. Anyway, so, uh, I'm sorry, where was I? That's fine. I'll leave that in by the way.

Speaker 5: No, it's fine. It's fine. You were basically saying it's, it wasn't her fault, it was the status quo. Jeb bush in the republican primary, it was like the perfect emblem of status quo and hillary was in the, in the general, right. I mean, in the. Let me stop yoU there. So as a democrat, what I get it, I, I'm, I'm a not a member of either

Speaker 6: party. I'm asking you is a different. What I found interesting was that a hillary in quotations got blamed for the bush years. What were your thoughts on, in other words, the past 30 years got blamed on hillary clinton in those 30 years is George W. Bush? Well, I don't know that she got blamed for the bush years,

Speaker 5: but you got blamed for the clinton years and she got blamed for the obama years, clinton years economic boom, jeff, uh, obama years, economic, economic boom. But unfortunately I think most people haven't felt that about the backers. Right? Um, you know, people forget that obama took office with almost 10 percent unemployment, 10 million jobs lost. I mean, just the financial markets and ruin. I mean, the one of the scariest days of my life, I think as much or even more so than September 11th was um, you know, with the, with those days and rubbers in september. Yeah, in september of 2008 when lehman brothers collapsing, when, um, you know, when, when congress had to convene for specialist in the past harm, uh, you know, john mccain was suspending his campaign. I mean, that was terrifying and stuff. And that's the environment that obama took office. And um, and I think by every metric is, is brought us not only back from the brink, but back to where are we at four point six percent unemployment or something like that. It's under five. Absolutely. Yeah. And uh, and that's an unbelievable accomplishment and a tremendous accomplishment to be proud of, but unfortunately not one which I think has gotten the credit

Speaker 6: that it deserved. So then again, too, and democratic guy who does this all the time, if you don't mind me putting you on the spot when I was growing up, the worker voted for democrats. And if we're saying that the economy is great, but it's not felt by everybody, everybody used to be a democratic voter that everybody. Where are we as far as the, the, the way that people are voting and what is a republican and what is the democrat national?

Speaker 5: Well, I mean, you know, I think the elections this time around have had as much to do with, with, uh, with social stuff as they have with economics stuff and kind of the intersection of the social and the economic right. I mean, you know, Richard Nixon ran in the sixties on this kind of silent majority platform harnessing a stimulant, you know, very visceral reaction to the other side changes that were going on, particularly with the civil rights movement and with the american cities basically on fire and in riots. And then maybe a little less so with, with, uh, you know, the rise of feminism. But I think trump certainly rode the wave of some economic discontentment along with a reaction to eight years of a guy named barack hussein. obama, uh, you know, and you know, black family in the, in the white house. And the legalization of gay marriage and kind of the normalization of a lot of these traditional liberal social causes over and over eight years.

Speaker 5: And so it was that frothy mixture of a resentment than, and, uh, you know, in too much social change, too fast that, that caused this causes kind of backlash that led to trump. Where does that put us in the next four and eight years, if that's where we are now in your opinion. I mean, I, you know, the martin luther king quote the, the, was it the moral arc of the moral arc of the arc of the universe, bends towards, you know, morality, right? Um, and, uh, and I think the pendulum will swing back, but as it does, I mean in this country, and we have, we have a two party system and it balances things out and I think we tend to, as a country, move forward in a progressive, lowercase, lowercase b and is also marked by, you know, by moments of lowercase c conservativism.

Speaker 5: And I think we're in one of those moments right now. So, uh, that brings us to the final three questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of bed pillow or is what is one track, one song that's got to be on there? But first things first, what has most surprised me in cannabis deet? Um, that's an interesting question. Uh, I, I hope that it is. I mean, just, I guess one of the things that surprised me most in cannabis is how much of a revolution this has really become over the last couple of years. I'm really both, both in terms of the advocacy piece, but also also the industry and the technology. Um, I mean, you know, marijuana has been around for thousands and thousands of years.

Speaker 5: Humans have been consuming it for all those thousands of years, but if it's only been really in the last decade that the United States has been legalizing this stuff, that there's been this kind of technological revolution around marijuana. You know, when I was a kid you had bags of pot and now there's these vaporization devices, crazy edibles, tinctures and all these things. I mean, I guess one of my questions is like, how is, how is this ship and illegal and amsterdam for a generation and they couldn't figure out how to do anything but flower and hash and you, we've figured it out in the course of a decade. Was there. I think that's pretty cool and surprising. That's why we're both patriots, man. That's why the states of America.

Speaker 6: Yeah, exactly. Exactly it. Do you believe in miracles? Yes. Um, where do you think though, you know, taking that answer. Where do you think cannabis as a movement, cannabis as an industry, where do you think we're going in this small concert, conservative, small, c, conservative wave that you speak of, you know, where do you think we're going? Where do you think we're gonna? What pitfalls do you think we might fall into? How, how scared are you type of thing?

Speaker 5: Uh, I mean, I, I think, you know, we're, we're clearly headed towards, uh, towards little wrinkles. No, I mean we're, I think we're clearly headed towards legalization and further consumerization of, of marijuana United States. Uh, I think, you know, they know the country was on the track to legalized or decriminalized marijuana in the late seventies. Yes. Well, and then ronald reagan happened and crack cocaine happened and the pendulum swung back. Um, I think we're, I think we're too far down the road for that kind of pendulum swing to happen again. Medical, uh, just kind of generally I think. Okay. I mean, I think, you know, it could take some steps back backwards, but I think, I think this train is, this train has left the station and whether it takes a little bit longer as a result of the, you know, some of the reasons, political shifts, I think, I think it's happening.

Speaker 5: I think one of the, so putting aside those kind of big existential fears, I mean, one of the worries that I have on, on marijuana moving forward is, is it's commoditization, right? That marijuana is a, it's a plant, it's a unique thing. It's a, it's a funkY thing. It's all, it's very complex. And, uh, you know, so I worry when I, you know, at these, whether it's art viewer, marijuana business daily and people were talking about marijuana is a commodity, you know, like, like orange juice concentrate futures, you know, stuff like that because that's not what marijuana is. Marijuana is much more wine than it is cigarettes.

Speaker 6: Well, that, and I do have faith in the cannabis consumer, the cannabis patient in understanding the product at the level of wine at the level of even coffee. It's

Speaker 5: important for the patients. And so I think that that's an important thing to that the notion of medical marijuana and not get lost in this whole thing. Right? Um, you know, I was not there at the inception oF the marijuana reform movement. So, you know, I know there was a, you know, there are some people who have always viewed medical marijuana is kind of a stepping stone towards legalization and it may have been, that's never been how I've viewed medical marijuana. I've always viewed it as its own discrete thing and I think it should continue to be its own discrete thing. A marijuana clearly has tremendous medical benefits, um, and uh, should be, should specifically seen as a, as a, a medical use product, even if even if there was adult use allowed. And as far as the stepping stone, there's a lot of nuance there that we could spend an hour just talking about that. So we won't. Um, what has most surprised you in life? What has most surprised me in life? Indeed. The biggest question.

Speaker 5: I don't know. I'm surprised every day. And that's everything as the rising. It's good. I like that because some people say I tried. No, I try to. I try to be surprised, right? I mean, that's the goal. Part of the enjoyment in things. Just to be able to be surprised. Speaking of enjoyment on the soundtrack of his life. One track, one song that's got to be on one track, one song, uh, uh, incarcerated. scarface is a by raekwon and ghostface one. The only bill for cuban linx. We asked this question, you know, because I feel like if we're listening to you, we wouldn't accept that, you know, we think he's a Florida guy, maybe some jimmy buffet. And now, I am kidding. I am kidding you. You love jimmy buffett, the love, but you wu tang forever will lend to right there. Ben flowers. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: And there you have ben pollara course. John morgan up top. I hope to make good on my promise to him to interview him when we get in the same room. Seems like a very interesting guy, ben pollara as well. A very interesting guy. Very interesting work. Much appreciate them much appreciate you. Thanks for 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.