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Ep.222: North Dakota Cannabis

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.222: North Dakota Cannabis

Ep.222: North Dakota Cannabis

Anita Morgan, Representative Pamela Anderson & Ray Morgan

Anita Morgan first joins us to share her thoughts on the North Dakota win. She explains that North Dakotans quickly caught on to the Compassionate Care initiative based on sharing personal stories on Facebook leading up to election day. The initiative was launched based on her husband Ray’s medical issues and supported by State Representative Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson then joins us and explains that she shared with the legislature that if they didn’t act the voters would and saw Anita and Ray run with the initiative.
Ray Morgan who really started this whole thing then joins us and takes through how cannabis as medicine is his issue and where we are with North Dakota cannabis as we make our way into 2017.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: North Dakota cannabis. Anita Morgan first joins us to share her thoughts on the North Dakota when she explains that North Dakotans quickly caught onto the compassionate care initiative based on sharing personal stories on facebook leading up to election day. The initiative was launched based on re Morgan's medical issues and supported by state representative Pamela Anderson. Pamela Anderson then joins us and explains that she shared with the legislature that if they didn't act, the voters would and so anita and re run with the initiative. Ray Morgan, who really started this whole thing then joins us and takes us through how cannabis as medicine is his issue and where we are with North Dakota cannabis as we make our way into 2017. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the Hammock can economy. That's two ends and the word economy, the gang from North Dakota,

Speaker 2: it

Speaker 3: 164 that it probably never been off the farm and were mobilized and sent to Guadalcanal and he was one that was killed over there.

Speaker 2: No, that's a. that's Ray's father or grandfather?

Speaker 3: Uncle, uncle, grandpa, grandpa. Was Riley. The first, uh, uncle was Riley's a junior and then they need rate in honor of his uncle that had passed away.

Speaker 2: Got It. And Guadalcanal is, forgive me where and what was, uh, what was the fight about?

Speaker 3: We'll work island battle.

Speaker 2: So South Pacific. Yes. Alright. Well, okay, so that's right. What's that?

Speaker 3: That's just an interesting side observation.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And we're talking about ray, your husband, Anita Morgan. Thank you so much for giving us a few minutes here. Congratulations on the North Dakota when. Huh?

Speaker 3: Thank you very much. It was exciting

Speaker 2: a league, uh, you know, just a veritable bastion of a left wing nut jobs. North Dakota, right? Yeah. No, not at all. So let's, let's get into, let's get into exactly how this happened. Um, you, you shared that it was, you know, essentially, uh, a calling as far as raises a medical situation. Is that fair?

Speaker 3: Yeah, it was. We had a long health journey personally and with the back surgery that winter rye and uh, ended up with a drop foot and neuropathy and it's just been a long road, which is not an uncommon story when you listen to the facebook family for the North Dakota Compassionate Care, the health journeys that people have endured was basically what kind of precipitated this. His personal story started it, but then we found other people that put the state. So I'm measured five and it's, it's been heartbreaking and rewarding to do it.

Speaker 2: Well, let's, let's talk about heartbreaking because I do want to give, you know, you're obviously our first guest from North Dakota. So I do want to give folks a sense of what's happening on the ground, which it sounds like is what's happening on the ground everywhere on earth. So as far as, as heartbreaking is concerned, can shed some light there.

Speaker 1: North Dakota cannabis. Anita Morgan first joins us to share her thoughts on the North Dakota when she explains that North Dakotans quickly caught onto the compassionate care initiative based on sharing personal stories on facebook leading up to election day. The initiative was launched based on re Morgan's medical issues and supported by state representative Pamela Anderson. Pamela Anderson then joins us and explains that she shared with the legislature that if they didn't act, the voters would and so anita and re run with the initiative. Ray Morgan, who really started this whole thing then joins us and takes us through how cannabis as medicine is his issue and where we are with North Dakota cannabis as we make our way into 2017. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the Hammock can economy. That's two ends and the word economy, the gang from North Dakota,

Speaker 2: it

Speaker 3: 164 that it probably never been off the farm and were mobilized and sent to Guadalcanal and he was one that was killed over there.

Speaker 2: No, that's a. that's Ray's father or grandfather?

Speaker 3: Uncle, uncle, grandpa, grandpa. Was Riley. The first, uh, uncle was Riley's a junior and then they need rate in honor of his uncle that had passed away.

Speaker 2: Got It. And Guadalcanal is, forgive me where and what was, uh, what was the fight about?

Speaker 3: We'll work island battle.

Speaker 2: So South Pacific. Yes. Alright. Well, okay, so that's right. What's that?

Speaker 3: That's just an interesting side observation.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And we're talking about ray, your husband, Anita Morgan. Thank you so much for giving us a few minutes here. Congratulations on the North Dakota when. Huh?

Speaker 3: Thank you very much. It was exciting

Speaker 2: a league, uh, you know, just a veritable bastion of a left wing nut jobs. North Dakota, right? Yeah. No, not at all. So let's, let's get into, let's get into exactly how this happened. Um, you, you shared that it was, you know, essentially, uh, a calling as far as raises a medical situation. Is that fair?

Speaker 3: Yeah, it was. We had a long health journey personally and with the back surgery that winter rye and uh, ended up with a drop foot and neuropathy and it's just been a long road, which is not an uncommon story when you listen to the facebook family for the North Dakota Compassionate Care, the health journeys that people have endured was basically what kind of precipitated this. His personal story started it, but then we found other people that put the state. So I'm measured five and it's, it's been heartbreaking and rewarding to do it.

Speaker 2: Well, let's, let's talk about heartbreaking because I do want to give, you know, you're obviously our first guest from North Dakota. So I do want to give folks a sense of what's happening on the ground, which it sounds like is what's happening on the ground everywhere on earth. So as far as, as heartbreaking is concerned, can shed some light there.

Speaker 3: Well, as we went along, I don't know, do you want the whole history of this?

Speaker 2: Yeah, of course.

Speaker 3: Okay. In 12 or 2012 surgery and you know, because of a convergence of, of uh, issues he had dropped foot and he has been robin and um, along the way I had seen the Sanjay Gupta special weed and he was concerned about all of the medications that he was taking more. And I think that that's kind of a common concern with an awful lot of people is that what is going to be the longterm implications of the medications I'm taking. So he watched it and um, we would have been 2014 our newly elected district representative to the state of North Dakota legislature. Uh, Pamela Anderson called her and he said, hey, I think we should consider some exploration of medical cannabis in North Dakota. So she presented that to the committee. It was not voted out of committee narrowly to be referred to the whole, the whole legislature. Sure.

Speaker 3: And then, and there were approximate, I want to say five or six families that had come to testify, uh, regarding little kids with epilepsy and how this could be a benefit. People who were dealing with chronic pain issues. And how it would benefit them because they could live, live their life, not be anesthetized with some of the medications or the longterm side effects, right. So narrowly just needed. Then representative deal Mooney from a, she would be about 40 miles from Fargo. She made the observation that grabs, we should refer this to a study group to see how it could benefit North Dakota patients and their family. And that was defeated. And then she observed, she observed, you realize that if we don't do something, certainly with the initiated referendum, a function in North Dakota, this will probably come up again. Right? So this would have been right.

Speaker 3: You know, it was very, it's almost like a premonition that she thought of that. So that would've been in January, February of 2015. So it's dirt and raised mind over the summer. Worked with the people that had testified, uh, put together the, the bill and submitted it in the fall of 2015. And of course there were a few little a missing, um, I dotting and t crossing. So that was the initial one was rejected. Isn't eventually approved by the North Dakota Secretary of state. That's December, late, late November, early December, and by the new year we were collecting signatures. Excellent. Which has always kind of an exciting thing in North Dakota in January.

Speaker 2: And for, for most folks that are listening to you, they're only frame of references. The movie Fargo. Right?

Speaker 3: Oh, right. Yeah. I hope I don't sound too much like y'all, you know, you haven't yet.

Speaker 2: You know, you don't, you don't, but I, I mean how close is that to, uh, to how cold it is. It just, it, it, it's so cold. It looks cold. Right?

Speaker 3: Well here's a good observation. We have a marine water with lots of lakes in Minnesota and North Dakota and so always January, February. They always have sportsman shows and of course our volunteers said lots of people coming to one place. Let us go and collect signatures. And of course, wouldn't you know, it your pencils up. It was so cool

Speaker 2: that that'll happen I guess. But you did get insurance. How many signatures did you wind up with?

Speaker 3: We were required to have 13,452. We ended up submitting a snitch over 18,000 of which have about a thousand were denied because of eligibility. I'm messed up notaries, that kind of thing. So really it was, it was a very small percentage that were denied, but then we were extremely careful every time that a petition came in, we had a crew that would check it and make sure is this, you know, can you read this thing? Oh, look at the cute Minnesota person who accidentally signed her petition to cross that off yet, or the notary is absolutely wrong and we'd send it back to the petition circulator and say you have to fix this. So we were extremely conscientious and fussy about how the signatures were provided, the secretary of state.

Speaker 2: Great. And you got way more than needed. So, uh, what was the next step after that?

Speaker 3: Well, that would have been July 11th. And we turned them in and then they have a month, uh, to um, go through them. They do. And then they, um, the procedure in North Dakota, they input them into the computer, they pick an arbitrary number of random number. Then they said no postcards within that month and say, did you sign this petition?

Speaker 2: Yes, I did.

Speaker 3: Yes, I did. You send the postcard back. You were documented so, you know, like 10 percent or whatever it is and every 34th person or whatever it is that they select randomly. And so then 30 days we got our measure number and we began winning the hearts and minds of North Dakota voter.

Speaker 2: Now, how, how did you do that? You know, uh, that, that's a, that's a great, um, a great piece of, of conversation that I want to have. But you mentioned when you submitted the paperwork, what did the, uh, uh, what did the woman say to you when you submitted the paperwork?

Speaker 3: Oh, oh. When we first started our, our election specialist said, you know, this is the longest he's ever seen. Go. All right, so let's end. It was kind of cute because, you know, there's the thing we have, we got complaints from people that said it's too restrictive to bureaucratic. We got comments from other, the other side that said, uh, this is just way too wide open. This is going to be the wild wild west. And so we figured when you have complaining in Stereo from both sides too bureaucratic, we've kind of gotten to the middle ground covered. Alright. So that is what we want to.

Speaker 2: There you go. And speaking of that middle ground, talk about winning hearts and minds. What was the message?

Speaker 3: Well, it was a real grass roots. That's for certain. Um, we had a cool in, in shortly before, I suppose inside mid October we had a whopping $1,900 in the bank, which that was an exciting endeavor to when we first started, because I'm originally are quite a few banks, said no, that they wouldn't allow it to even have a checking account. That's unfortunate.

Speaker 2: Cannabis Industry and Nita.

Speaker 3: Well right. But, but we had, um, I, I don't know if I want to say their name, but we, the bank president actually went to bat for us and said, how dare you to the compliance people, how dare you interfere with freedom of speech. They're not selling product. There you go. Exactly. They are, they, he really defended us. And, and the compliance people for the big when they were in, they kind of went. Yeah, we understand.

Speaker 2: Alright. So, so $1,900 went. When did the kind of the really the rubber hit the road, so to speak. When did you realize that you had something going here as

Speaker 3: well as the facebook group? And we had, our original function of the facebook was to tell people what we were doing, where we were at a coach wise, a announcing events that we were going to be at a, you know, we'll see what Bernie, if you want to sign the petition, we will be there. The rip. This will be at the Clinton rally, the trump rally. We will be at those sportsman shows it everywhere. We were everywhere. So that. And also to build the excitement of, well, we went over our, the minimum, now we just need the greedy for signatures, please. Everybody gets your stuff in, done it and carried on that way. But once we got to measure number, then it became, how do we introduce the folks that are the faces of measure five? Basically that whole concept came from, um, a wonderful grammar lady.

Speaker 3: Seventy two year old retired teacher who wrote a letter to the editor and it kind of went statewide and she became one of our best advocates. Her daughter was battling, I'm stage colon cancer and people had. And she just could not get any relief. She couldn't eat, she couldn't get good restorative rest. And an acquaintance of, there's a family friend phones, um, cannabis for their daughter. And she came out and absolutely said, no, this is illegal. But when I see my kids suffering, this is her kid. Her daughter is in her 40 [inaudible] a kid by any stretch.

Speaker 2: Everything's relative,

Speaker 3: right? But she's still her, her baby, no matter how old every mama thinks that way. And she said, whatever it takes, whatever it needs. And we are not cooks, we are people just like you who are watching their loved one suffer needlessly and I intend to put a face on the measure and measure five and that was where this all kind of came from is the families that we know, you your heartbreak for the person who's sick but also for the watchers, the family members, because all we can do is watch and worry, right? I mean, what's like any, any mama with little kids that have epilepsy and seizure disorders and all of that. It isn't if they're going to have a seizure today, it's how many and how severe. So that is how that is putting a face on. Um, came about. We have just so many families, so many families that spoke out called on the radio. We really did rely on the kindness of strangers, recurring media that we got to cut the coverage was extraordinary in North Dakota. The radio stations that called for interviews and kept people up to date and, and allowed a good conversation.

Speaker 2: Sure. That's what we need more of that, don't we?

Speaker 3: Oh, they were. Well, it was amazing the, the, the amount of inches and the amount of minutes that we got in covering this. That's great. But to have done it without them.

Speaker 2: Yeah. All right. So the faces of measure five, you know, what, what did you wind up with as far as the total again, as far as the vote?

Speaker 3: Oh, 216,000 plus. And it was a 64. Sixty four percent, like 63 point seven, nine percent

Speaker 2: 63 or 53.

Speaker 3: Sixty three.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So that is a. yeah, that's exactly, that's, that's two thirds of the electorate who, uh, were in, on a medical cannabis. You know, the, the question of course is a what now? What are, what are the plans, who were you talking to? What are we doing?

Speaker 3: The North Dakota Department of Health is, I know right now working on the forms in the registry for patients. That would probably be the first thing that will happen. And, and, and I'm sure they're looking at it from the point of view that if we have a guesstimate or moderately accurate count of the population than caregivers or compassion centers would know what they're getting with what population is interested in this. Yeah, that makes sense. And I'm also patients or personally talking to their doctors. We do have some reports through facebook and through telephone calls that some positions have never read the bill. And so we are constantly referring go on her with a gun, a loaded, bring it into the doc's, let them read it to, you know, help, help them see what the point of this is. And also I think the encouragement from the North Dakota Department of Health, I, I, I spoke to the, one of the coordinators and I said, you know, the good part is that you are not reinventing the wheel from the bottom up here. 20 five states that currently have medical cannabis available. And so certainly you can look at everyone's program and go, Ooh, we really liked that function. That's very handy during knee. It will work well or no, no, no, we're never doing that.

Speaker 2: Well, to that end, what, what, what's in the measure? Just to give us a broad sense of, uh, you know, a qualifying conditions or you know, licenses or whatever, you know, you can give us at the top level,

Speaker 3: um, the illnesses with seat and I'm doing this off the top of my head. I apologize. No, that's fine. Um, cancer in his treatment of epilepsy, fibromyalgia, chromes disease, glaucoma, ptsd, chronic pain, chronic pain that has not responded well to surgery or medicine, has tried, has a consequential side effects over three months. Great thing along that line. Um, and that's obviously, and I'm missing a bunch.

Speaker 2: No, I'm sure you are. And don't worry about it. That that's the broad brush that we were asking for as far as licenses. Is there

Speaker 3: to have a bonafide relationship with your dog. It is until you where they can document. I have known this person for years. For example, one of our most ardent circulators who also is a patient, Cheri Paulson. She has ms and yet is so gracious with her time that which when she feels good, she would be the first one out there with the clipboard, which always amazes me. You know, when people would say that to me, I'd love to help, but I can't always guarantee when I'm going to feel good and there they be.

Speaker 2: Yeah. That's unbelievable. Yes.

Speaker 3: The kindness of that, of when you think of or like, um, we have uh, a gentleman and you will a bill. He has Crohn's disease and, and yet very was week after week in front of the post office, the, the department, the doc for driver's license where people can just renewing your driver's license there. He would be and there. No, and they're doing it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. That's it. It, it really is everybody. Um, and you know.

Speaker 3: Right. But there's the other thing though is like I said before, like with Sherry, she's already talked to her doctors about medical cannabis and what it can do for her, for her ms and the specificity angle over illness. And they are very supportive because she takes like seven different drugs every day and is concerned about the longterm side effects of it. So there's, there's the things that you need, you can't just have a casual relationship, you need to have a bonafide longterm relationship with a physician. And so in that respect, um,

Speaker 2: good. Yeah. And that, that's the patients. And that's the doctors. What about the business side of things? How much information is there on the number of licenses or taxation or you know, any of that

Speaker 3: in the bill? The compassion centers are licensed through the state of the health department. Um, they would, there are several years old, a big credit, big section in the bill talking about, um, who is on their nonprofit, who was on the board, and then how they would assess like a numerical ranking. Do you have a person in the medical field to become a pharmacist? Do you have a food safety food scientist, a horticulturist? Have you experienced in nonprofits as. And so to try to create a, a stable of expertise when a person gets a license for a compassion center,

Speaker 2: there you go. Okay, great. And where can we go to, uh, to read that full bill? You said it's on the website. Will please name the website. It

Speaker 3: is www dot n d dot c c a 2016 dodge com, which stands for North Dakota. Compassionate Care Act Two thousand 16. I had a feeling, you know, there's the thing, this is the longest name on God's green earth and then we became measured five. And so you'll hear people talk about is both ways and I think what are the, what are the absolutely most poignant observations. One of the family, one of the moms said, she said, you know what it Kinda, it Kinda bugs me. And I said, what do you, what do you mean it kind of bugs me. She says, my daughter's not a measure. Yeah, yeah. You know, she's a human being that needs an alternative, another option in her doctor's arsenal to combat her seizures. That's it. That's it. That's all it is, is it's just another tool available for doctors to do, to do a good thing for patients. And some people, you know, here, here's a crazy question, when you have a headache, you personally, what do you keep?

Speaker 4: Well, I, I actually try not to take anything. Um, I'm, I'm a bad guy to listen to.

Speaker 3: Okay. But you have friends. I'm sure that ID profile works for me. Plain old aspirin, right? Just the trick. But I think that that's the overall arching observation is that for some people it might be a good treatment option, but for some it might be the only treatment option. And it isn't. Medical cannabis is not a panacea. It is not a big, huge, wonderful bandaid that's been a cover. Absolutely everything. Everyone's body is different and whether it be a man need pharmaceutical or cannabis or whatever, you have to have that option to discuss with your doctor in the privacy of the exam room. What might work best for me. And that's all we got, what we asked for. And that's what we got in North Dakota, which I think is probably the reason that it passed that it is, is, um, uh, from a, it's a personal decision that you make in consultation with your doctor to say you can't, that kind of pioneer spirit, navy is what, what pushed it over and that we're not a big state. Everybody has somebody who knows their neighbor girl has epilepsy or your cancer, your $34,000 cancer survivors in North Dakota, which when you think of the state a state that $700,000,

Speaker 4: I need a morgan. Thank you so much for what you've done for, for North Dakota and for Dakotans,

Speaker 1: and we'll keep checking back with you as you as you go there. How about that?

Speaker 3: Excellent.

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 3: I don't do it. Don't do a lot.

Speaker 1: I like how, you know, breakfast is for, you know, I don't, I don't know about that.

Speaker 5: These people that eat breakfast, right? I know you're supposed to do, but now you're focused on the work at hand. The work at hand in this case, uh, had to do with legalizing medical cannabis in North Dakota. I am saying it. Is it the, I don't even believe it when I say it. What are your thoughts? Do you believe it?

Speaker 6: You know, I do, just because during the session, after I introduce this bill and we had a committee hearing, um, I mean the room was packed. The Passion of the people that really feel this will make a difference in their lives and their families. And we were actually talking at A. Oh, I don't know, breakfast or lunch the other day and you know, people asked me and they said, well, here's the deal, if you have a child that has seizures and your family thinks that, you know, medical marijuana may help. I mean it's worth a try and you see in North Dakota we kind of stick around, you know what I mean? So if you have one child, you have multiple nieces, nephews, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, people across the church, you know what I mean. So we have this huge extended family. So you may have one child and you're going to get lots of boats.

Speaker 6: Got It. And they had. I have to tell you what I've, when I first introduced this bill and I was a freshman legislature, never been there before and I had people that knew me. Pam, you shouldn't start off your, your legislative career with sort of a cookie bill. And I said, this is not cookie. I mean this makes perfect sense, right? So one of the first phone calls I got was this woman and she said, I want to talk to you about medical marijuana. I said, okay. I want you to know I'm very, very, very conservative. I homeschool my. I mean, I, we, we don't even know they do non pasteurized milk, you know, that whole thing. And she said, I was in a car accident a few years ago. I need this medical marijuana. You do what ever you can't because I can't, I can't do pain pills. So the home schoolers thought this was a good idea, you know what I mean? I do. Yeah. So I wasn't surprised to pat

Speaker 4: what, uh, what I like to say is that no matter what your political stripe is, you know, if you attend to vote for this kind of a politician or tend to vote for that type of politician, no matter what, cannabis gets more votes than you, you know,

Speaker 6: no question about it. But our legislature, who is, I mean, they're very rad. I'm with course say overwhelmingly defeated it, you know, cause that was.

Speaker 4: Well that's you are. But let's, let's get into the history. How did you come to introduce that bills? What were, you know, where were you first introduced to cannabis as medicine?

Speaker 6: Um, after I got elected, one of my constituents know Ray Morgan at that time, it was a 64 year old stockbroker and he contacted me and said, would you consider looking at this end? You know, I, I never really considered it. I mean, I, I went to college in the late sixties and early seventies. I mean, marijuana. Well, yeah, did Chanel, but I hadn't really thought about medical marijuana and so I started doing some research and lo and behold, I found all these like 28 states that have it and Montana and Minnesota life that well. Sure. And so I just emailed him back and said yes. And I worked with just getting a bill and the, there's a national group that helps state legislatures the NCSL. I don't know if you've ever heard of that. But anyway, they had a model, a model of medical marijuana bill.

Speaker 6: Oh, they did? Yeah. And that's. Yeah. And that's kind of where I started because, you know, we have, I have no staff, I mean North Dakota, you have no staff, right? I mean not art. Our caucus and majority and majority, you have to paid positions that are only part time during the legislature, so you just have to do all this stuff on your own. Right. So we kinda got this bill together and I thought it was a pretty good bill. We had testimony and dental comes up to vote on the floor and the testimony on the floor was a, there isn't any proof that this actually works, you know? So it was. Well there's no proof it doesn't work. Well. Yeah. But whatever. So then we have this other other. We we only meet every other year so we can quote study and sometimes studying bill's work since sometimes it's just a way to kill the concept. So I put it in a bill to study it, you know? And so no, that wasn't going anywhere. And I stood up at the session when we said no, and I said this is going on the for a referendum on the initiated measure and it's going to pass and you all are going to get what you get,

Speaker 5: right? You could do it the way that we want to do it here in this house, or the voters are going to talk about it.

Speaker 6: Well now the other thing is is Montana. You can grow your own if you're, you know, whatever. And in Minnesota you can't grow your own. So my bill was, you couldn't roll your own. Well guess what? This bill says you can grow your own if you are 40 miles from a distribution center or a, you know, everyone except Fargo and they're all 40 miles away. So everyone's going to be able to grow.

Speaker 5: Now is there a limit, just because we're talking policies there are limits to the number of plants or how did you do that? I think it's four or five. Okay, alright. You know, casually, usually four to six or whatever it is, four to six, something like that. Right. So you do, you get up and you say, okay, you're not going to even let me test it. We're going to let the voters decide today.

Speaker 6: Right. Okay. Oh, and they'll never pass. And they said, oh, it's going to pass.

Speaker 5: Okay. And how did you know, how did you know it was going to pass? I mean, you had had those initial phone calls, but yeah, what was it?

Speaker 6: Because you know, what everybody I talked to during the session, after the session, even when started to get the signatures, there wasn't anybody except the medical profession that didn't think it was a good idea. And the Republicans, a lot of Republicans

Speaker 5: right now as far as both of those opponents, um, you know, in, in this case, what were, uh, what were doctors saying,

Speaker 6: it's not FDA approved and so there we just can't do it.

Speaker 5: And so what they were saying is based on the way that I'm licensed, I can't because it's not FDA approved, at least that's what I think right now. As far as what were you gonna say something else there?

Speaker 6: No, I was just, um, and I don't know if there's other reasons. I think it's just because it's just kind of out there. It's new, it's different. It's, and they're more comfortable treating their patients very traditionally

Speaker 5: based on what they studied. That's fair. You know, they really are. Yeah. What about, uh, what about the, you say the Republicans, what, what was, what was the kind of align, um, you know, what was the opposition kind of messaging?

Speaker 6: It's a drug and, and it, it's just a gateway into terrible, you know, and it's like really pain pills aren't a gateway to heroin. We like everyone else, the country. I mean, my daughter who's 25 in one week, she went to three funerals for opm overdose. I mean, heroin overdose, opioid. So, you know, it's like really, I don't think anyone's dies. A medical marijuana in it might get sick and throw up, but I don't think anybody died.

Speaker 5: Well I can, I can tell you no one does, no one does, no one does, no one does, no one has just in the. And all I'm saying is in the history of time, you know, so it's just as an ever happened.

Speaker 6: Yeah. And, and I don't think anyone ever dies from just legal, medical marijuana.

Speaker 5: Exactly. Because it's the same plant. But um. Alright. So, so when did you, and how did you start to get this initiative together for, for votes, you know, for, for the voters to decide

Speaker 6: and actually I was not, I mean the morgans were the ones that were in this committee

Speaker 5: and we spoke to Anita and we're going to seek to ray but, but go on.

Speaker 6: They are a machine, those two, I mean literally, and they had a um, a group of like 21 on their board but I didn't do that because I didn't want it to be partisan. I didn't want it to be a Democrat issue. Okay. So I just said you should have no policy. I mean don't have any politicians. Huh?

Speaker 5: Don't bring me on. Don't make it a political issue.

Speaker 6: No. Right. Make it a political. Excellent. Yeah. One of the big supporters and he's very interesting. John Strand, he's a, a city commissioner, been involved in politics and he also publishes kind of an alternative paper and Fargo, he, he helped him and he's very well known in the community so that, you know, that helped too I think.

Speaker 5: Alright. So, you know, we'll, we'll talk to the morgans more, you know, again, spoke to Anita a about the initiative in getting it passed and all of that. But when I asked Anita, you know, who I should talk to you, she said, you know, let's talk about now let's get back into that house you've dealt with, you know, folks that are going to be how, you know, that have their own opinions of what's going on. What do you expect when you go back to work here? I'm with now, uh, something that's been passed by the voters. What do you expect to, to walk into?

Speaker 6: Well, we've, um, uh, you know, I'm not entirely sure I know that the bill needs and no one's opposed to tweaking and doing in some of those kinds of things. And it's basically after Delaware's bill. Okay. Well our health department, Delaware out of interest, you have to ask Ray. That is, I'm not telling I know know. Um, but, and so our health department is working with the Delaware health department. I mean there, I know deputy director of the Health Department, Rob Smith and she is me. I mean, she's working on this night and day because gap, guess what? It had a 30 day implementation team really embraced that. That was probably not enough time either,

Speaker 5: right? No, it's definitely not. But what it does is it ensures that things get going right away.

Speaker 6: We get going on it and she is getting going on it and I, I don't there, we can't. It's not going to go away. I mean they can't vote it out.

Speaker 5: Right? They can't vote it out because of the way that it's written. It take us through why they can't vote it out

Speaker 1: because it's an initiated measure and the. And what does that mean in, in North Dakota is my question. That means you have to basically leave it alone for seven years, seven years. They can come back to it in seven years, but you didn't need to make an amendment to the constitution because you've got the seven years with the initiative, etc. Okay. And if it is

Speaker 6: passed by 50 One percent, but 63 percent and some counties 70, 80. I mean, there's no way that, I think they can say the, the voters didn't know what they were doing and we know better.

Speaker 1: It's normAlly two thirds. It's a super majority. Whatever. Yeah. I mean, I just don't think that. Okay. So

Speaker 5: where do you expect them to pick apart then if they can't, you know, stop it. What do you expect in the way of kind of barriers or hurdles?

Speaker 6: Um, I think it'll be, you know, who can grow it, where can it be growing? And I mean, I, I'm thinking some counties are going to want to not deal with it being grown in their county. Sure. You know, I think we're going to come up with those kinds of bills. Right.

Speaker 5: Which is okay too, you know, if you don't want the county, that's fine with us. Great. Where do you expect most of the industry to be a near fargo or otherwise?

Speaker 6: I think that's going to be kind of interesting because I've had people contacting me that are, you know, I mean out in the rural part of the state more, you know, they're farmers, they're in a whatever, especially organic farm. You know, some of them they really want to, they want to grow the marijuana, right. So if you know, fargo, it's going to probably have to. I, I, so I don't know. And I just say, oh, here's rv smith's number, just give her a call and I can't really. Yeah.

Speaker 5: And I'll take that from you to actually. Um, but uh, oh, on the farmers, what I'm. This kind of breaks down two different ways for farmers that are not farming cannabis now, uh, you kind of get interest and you also get kind of, um, folks that are really not into it, that are very much against it. Talk about farmers that are into it, that see the promise here.

Speaker 6: Well, and that's just a few emails and phone calls I've had in and I, like I say, I haven't, other than knowing they have an interest in it, I really can't tell them how they go about getting registered and all that kind of.

Speaker 5: Alright. So, so moving on to, you know, a little bit about you, Pamela Anderson. How do we have your service here in North Dakota? Uh, why would you do this to yourself? Make yourself a public official.

Speaker 6: Okay. I'll tell you, I, um, I as a banker, wells fargo and wells fargo and I feel fortunate. I found a career I really enjoyed and I was very active in a lot of nonprofits through the years I had been. There isn't any, I probably haven't, you know, which I, which I enjoy. Um, and then, uh, my husband and I retired and we were coming back and forth between here and Florida and he was really, I was never bored with tom met with him. I mean he would have loved this election cycle and to just gone crazy. I mean it was a us times reader posts, reader fargo forum reader, you know, the whole thing. And then he passed away. I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah. And so I'm sitting in there kinda, you know, floating in this pool in Florida going, I'm really bored and I'm kind of lonely and I've ever, um, tried public.

Speaker 6: I mean I was always voted very political, very whatever. So like I think about my district and my district representatives, two republicans. One is the majority leader of the house just to bully, just, you know, whatever the other one was, um, the primary sponsor of seven anti abortion bills last session. Total focus was, you know, antiabortion seven different bills in one session, seven different bills, and they all, we've spent millions of dollars going into. They were all unconstitutional at the get go and she didn't care. Okay. So I thought, well, I, they aren't representing me. Okay, go ahead with this. And no one had no democrat had run against him. So I joined the democratic party to run against him. Were you not a democrat before? Why wasn't active in the party? The democrats smile. I voted for a republican who was a moderate republican. I gotcha. Um, so I decided I'm going to do this. And so my nephew, who's in the senate and very republican, he told them, he said, my aunt is going to be formidable. Nah, she's a democrat. It's not going to happen. Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it. Well, it's the top two vote getters that go. It doesn't matter the party. I'm very proud to say I was the top vote getter. I got more votes than the. I'm a majority leader. Look at that. I know and he was so.

Speaker 6: Can I say he was so pissed about it. So he's ahead of his caucus. Okay. And he said that no, bill with my name would ever get past and I thought you can't bully me. He put me in the blast parking spot and I just said I don't care. Yeah, exactly. And I got bills passed and you know, he did not intimidate me. So that's how I got involved. It was like, and I'm having a good time with it. Excellent. That's to be a democrat in North Dakota these days, but I don't care. Well, fair enough. And I think that that's a good. That's a good one.

Speaker 5: As far as you say your nephew is a is there and, and, and a republican. How much you know, conversation can you have, how much actual conversation can you have with folks on the other side of the aisle?

Speaker 6: oh, lots. Yeah, because we are kind of a small state.

Speaker 5: Good. So folks need to know how to get along, right?

Speaker 6: Yeah. Although an, and this is kind of interesting, we sit in a, a kind of a u shape and of course the democrats are altogether on one side and you know, there are so many republicans but across from us and they know this, we call them the red light district because we got a green light for us and a red light for no because they press there no button on everything through red light district. The red light district, they press their button. No, I'm getting rid of human trafficking. I mean it's just crazy. I don't have much contact with that red light. But yeah, folks that are closer to you in the, you, you can figure that out.

Speaker 5: Fair enough. Alright. So there are a couple of people that, that I'm going to want you to put me in touch with. Well, let's see how that goes. Um, and uh, you know, I want to keep in touch with you along the way here with, uh, wIth how the whole thing goes.

Speaker 6: Well, and I will be as interested as to what bills come out as you are really that looping me in on this. When does the session start? January. Third.

Speaker 5: All right. So we'll talk soon after that. How about that?

Speaker 6: Yeah. And all the bills have to be in by, I dunno, the 17th of January or something. So we'll know what the get go. Okay, good. Good.

Speaker 5: Alright, so we'll check back with you. How about that? That sounds perfect. all right. Pamela anderson? No, the only Pamela Anderson. that matters. How about that?

Speaker 6: Well, thank you. Nice to talk to you and thank you for what you're doing. You guys. Thoughts.

Speaker 4: Now you introduce yourself as, as riley. The email comes through is riley, but I'm supposed to call you ray. Let's start there. How does that all work?

Speaker 7: Well, and back and when I was conceived, which is some time ago, my father named me after his brother who was killed in world war two. He was rally ray morgan junior. Uh, when I went to work in the family business, my grandfather was still in the business and we had an intercom system. And my grandfather was riley, so I wasn't ever going to be rally, so they, me, I took my use, my middle name ray. So I've always been known as ray. I named my son riley. John wasn't going to saddle them with riley. Ray morgan the fourth. So he is riley and I'm still re. There you go. But I go by either

Speaker 4: either one. So we'll uh, you know, just based on what did you share it. I'll, I'll keep calling you ray.

Speaker 7: Okay.

Speaker 4: Ray, where, where does this all begin? Let's, let's make sure that we're dialed in on cannabis from the jump. You know, you're, uh, you, you know, you're not in your twenties, you're, you're in North Dakota. This is not a bastion of a liberal, uh, you know, craziness. Um, how did this medical cannabis thing come to be for, for you who seem to be what a boomer would you identify that way?

Speaker 7: Yeah, I would say that. Yes, actually. well, uh, back in 2012 I had a back surgery that didn't go well. And in a oh, november of 2014, my lovely bride was watching cnn and she saw the story of dr sanjay gupta, who did the medical cannabis, basically it was kind of the head, he was following the epilepsy epileptic kids in Colorado and he was obviously awfully skeptical about the use of medical cannabis and if it would help people and you know, he did his for our segment. And at the end of the show basIcally he said, I have turned the corner. And he said, I am now a proponent of medical cannabis. I see the good things that it can do. Well, I, I watched this ad after anita had told me I watched this and, and I became enthralled because obviously it could help me because I'm suffering kind of constant pain with my back and, and some of the conditions from the surgery. So I contacted in december, we had an election in november and we had a new roof. A house of representative elected Pamela Anderson from our district. And I contacted her and asked her if she would bring a medical cannabis billed to the legislature and introduce it.

Speaker 4: Well now I want to stop you there because we've spoken to pamela and we've spoken to anita, but I want to make sure that we get caught up here because like I said, boomer, North Dakota, anita, you now. Yeah. Now you guys had the sixties, right? So I mean, how foreign was cannabis to you and slash or anita before this special? Let's, let's ask that question.

Speaker 7: Well, obvIously not in anita so much, but obviously, you know, I, I used and I inhaled, I mean, I'll be the first to admit that I have not been a habitual user of cannabis for all of my life and nor have I in the past, you know, three or four years. So, you know, it's not like a, uh, you know, it's not like we don't know what it is, but we are not constantly users.

Speaker 4: There you go. You're, you're not an enthusiast. Exactly. Okay. So not necessarily foreign to you, but. So then, you know, if, if it, if it wasn't necessarily foreign to, you need to seize this a cnn piece, uh, you kind of agree. How did you know Pamela Anderson to begin with? You know, if I just want to talk to, to my representative, it's not as easy as just giving her a call, you know? Uh, I would imagine things are a little bit different up there, right?

Speaker 7: Yeah. We're, you know, we're, you know, and our legislative districts aren't that big here. You know, you have tens of thousands of voters. We have hundreds and thousands and I think the total vote for pamela in our district when she got elected, I think she was elected with a twentY 800 volts. There you go. So, you know, we're, you know, and North Dakota as a small state, we're only 750 to 800,000 people. You know, the, a sIx steps of kevin bacon or whoever, the only two step. There's only two steps in North Dakota. You know, if you don't know somebody, you can talk to somebody that might be, mIght be in that area and they say, oh yeah, I know him, so he can just give them a call, you know. So it's, you know, North Dakota, it's kinda like a small town in a big town. Everybody knows everybody and everybody knows everybody's business to believe.

Speaker 4: Maybe we'll talk about that later. Or maybe either way you get in touch with pamela. What was her initial reaction to you? You know, here's a constituent, here's the guy in pain. Maybe she knows you a little bit, but, um, you know, how crazy did it sound to her, do you think from your perspective?

Speaker 7: I think she was, she was onboard almost immediately and she, she actually got a, a couple of other representatives that were uh, uh, elected and actually one was a republican. Her grandsOn was an epileptic and she was aware of cbd and how it would help me help her grandson. So the, and there were some enlightened quote unquote republicans that actually did support this, but it wasn't to be in the house of representatives. So had to take it upon yourself. Yeah, it was kind of a, it was kind of an exercise in futility. And then after the legiSlature poo pooed the idea, one of the legislators, one of the representatives that sponsored the legislation actually introduced a, a, an not an amendment, but a, it was an amendment, I guess, to have the legislature study medical marijuana for the next biennium session,

Speaker 4: not going to pass it, at least study it. Right? Is that okay? Actually.

Speaker 7: And of course that was shot down as, as uh, inappropriate to whatever. And so consequently she said, you know, this is going to leave open the door so that the citizens of North Dakota might have an initiated measure and then our hands are tied. Right? Well, I, I, I saw her quote and I thought, uh, you know, I wonder, I wonder if this would even be a possibility. Um, I contacted some of the people who brought their children to the, uh, legislative subcommittee that looked at this proposal and I contacted them and basically they said, because in North Dakota you need 25 people to started initiated measure, would you be interested in, you know, being on this committee and circulating petition of getting signatures. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. So ca. And then it just kinda snowballed from there. We got the, we actually got 28 people to be on the committee and then all of a sudden it was like, you know, people from all over the state, uh, that, you know, had friends or family that were, that had crohn's disease or a number of, you know, the ailments that medical cannabis might help just came out of the woodwork and you know.

Speaker 7: But by the time it was all said and done, we had 107 people across the state that we're gathering signatures and we're talking small towns, larger communities, some of the cities. And we ended up getting some 18,000 signatures. Some were throwing out because they couldn't, you know, the signatures were allegeable or they didn't have the pulse rate, postal zip code or whatever always happen. So they threw out about 800 of those signatures, but we still had, you know, 17,400 signatures. We only made it about 13,500. We were clearly over and above what they want it. So,

Speaker 4: so it sounds like it started out real well. Obviously you had the parents of uh, the folks that had kind of spoken in the legislature. Then you've found folks that had, you know, a couple of degrees of separation as you mentioned earlier. Um, but when you started to go out to the masses, when you started out to go out to the general electorate, um, how did that start to catch fire, you know, how did it start to kind of resonate with folks that you wouldn't necessarily expect to support an issue like this?

Speaker 7: Well, you know, we, we didn't, we were a grassroots effort and you know, we didn't have a lot of money. I mean we had about $18,000 total. That was our budget. And so obviously we did not have a lot of money to do advertising and promoting and so forth. Uh, my wife and daughter set up a web page, a facebook page, you know, we, we spread a lot of the news that way. Got a lot of people to like us, you know, in, in a very short period of time. Then, you know, we had three or 4,000 likes in a very short period of time and a lot of shares a. So there are a lot, you know, social media is something that, you know, Mr. Trump and us are well aware of. But, you know, that being said, there's a, there was a lot of media attention, uh, especially in our area of fargo, which is kind of the more liberal city of the state. And you know, we got radio, tv interviews and newspaper interviews from all over the wealth particular fargo, grand forks in some of the bigger areas. We got a lot of media attention and you don't actually, we got a lot of support from those people too that were parole, medical cannabis. And even even some of the conservative talk show people in the state actually came out for this as well too.

Speaker 4: It's a, it's a personal liberty. And uh, you know, uh, that, that would resonate, you know. Exactly. And so it's no secret at this point you guys, uh, you guys won. And congratulations on that. Um, you know, it's amazing. I'm in North Dakota, you wouldn't have thought it, but, uh, but hey, we got it done. I'm now since I'm talking to you in january, there's been a, you know, a little bit more that's happened. And so what's the latest there in, in North Dakota?

Speaker 7: Well, the latest is that state department and health had a lot of issues with the way that the measure was written. Um, you know, we based our manager basically on the state of Delaware and we added some things from Montana and Arizona as well too. Well, you know, there's a few things that we missed. I mean, no bill that's passed in any legislature or any measure that's voted on by the people is perfect. be the first to admit that, you know, there's always, there always needs to be tweaks and tuneups legislation. Uh, however, uh, you know, the legislature along with the state department of health just has a, you know, it's making a, we feel is making a mountain out of a mole hill and coming up with all kinds of different things to delay implementation of our measure.

Speaker 4: And uh, you know, pamela kind of shared with us how it works inside a that legislators, legislatures specifically. Just quickly you mentioned Montana. I get it because it's right next door, Arizona. I get it because it's a kind of a over there, if you will, you know, from, from a new yorker's perspective. Why Delaware? How did yoU choose a Delaware?

Speaker 7: Well, I know because I'm the chairman of the committee, I was kind of took it upon myself, uh, you know, either we're going to have to hire a lawyer to do this or we're going to have to look at some other states and, and see what they had come up with. Well, you know, I looked through, you know, maybe a dozen different states to find out what their laws had on blocks and you know, I kind of looked at Delaware and you know, it seemed like a Delaware kind of was a little bit, you know, not that if they had crossed a lot of the t's and dotting the i's in their legislation and you know, in order I felt an order for it to get an order for our measure to get passed in our state, we were going to have to have a really tightly written, you know, well-regulated a measure and Delaware kind of provided that. I mean it was a, I think it was very concise and very tightly written and well done

Speaker 4: and still yet not tightly written enough. I guess. Where can we go? Is the facebook page still up for folks that want to kind of send support your way or what?

Speaker 7: Yes, yes it is. Yes, yes. North dakota. Compassionate care. Two thousand and 16. Uh, the webpage will or the facebook page will be up for well until, until we get things up and running,

Speaker 4: you know? And what are you doing as far as kind of moving the ball forward as much as you can? Uh, obviously, uh, they're trying to stop yet. How are you kind of pushing ahead here?

Speaker 7: Well, we're urging obviously people who voted for this to contact their legislature and tell them to get off the schneider and get the ball over the goal line and get, you know, this has never been about, you know, about compassionate care people and the legislature. This has always been about getting medical cannabis and, and, and this into the patient's hands so that we can make them better. That's always been our focus. It's always been our call and oh, it's not them against us. It's about helping people.

Speaker 4: That's exactly it. My friend. I am with you 100 percent. So let's say the facebook page, it just, uh, you know, the moniker. Just one more time just so folks can go there, lend support, whether it be financial or otherwise.

Speaker 7: It's the facebook page, North Dakota, compassionate care, 2016.

Speaker 4: Alright. And so we'll keep in touch if you don't mind, but at this point I want to ask you the three final questions which we always asked. So it's. Yeah, so I'll tell you what they are, then I'll ask you them in order. It's a what has most surprised you in cannabis? WhAt has most surprised you in life? And then on the soundtrack of your lIfe, ray, what is one track, one song that's got to be on there. But first things first, you know, you, you, you mentioned, uh, you ever relationship with cannabis. Like most americans, you know, hey, I remember it from way back when. And oh, you're tellIng me it's medicine. that's interesting. So that's, that's how I think most americans see it. Now, what has most surprised you in cannabis?

Speaker 7: Well, I think, I think just in the last, you know, five or 10 years to attitudes that have changed across America and how people really have seen that hits, you know, it's not the devil's lettuce and that, you know, we're, we're looking at these states raising millions of dollars in taxes. I mean, this is a source of income that not a lot of states were expecting. I think people are surprised and it's opened up a lot of eyes across the country.

Speaker 4: There you go. it's not just a Dennis Hopper and peter fonda anymore. Right?

Speaker 7: That's exactly right.

Speaker 4: What is a. And if, uh, uh, you understand the movie reference, please, a email engagement can economy.com. I know ray does. Um, what is most surprised you in life?

Speaker 7: Well, you and I have talked about this a little bit a couple of months ago. the instant communications here, we are talking to each other on face time. Your in New York. I'm in North Dakota. We're talking face to face. You know, when I was growing up, dick tracy had radio watches and, and you, you know, you could talk to people and stuff like that. While we're not too far away from that folks at all. It's so, so you know that the technology is at the rapid pace of technology and communication. It's just, it's, it's amazing.

Speaker 4: It certainly beats maxwell's from arts shoe. Right,

Speaker 7: exactly.

Speaker 4: And you said it yourself. I mean, facebook is basically what, uh, what brought you across the finish line there in North Dakota?

Speaker 7: Oh yeah. Without question, without question.

Speaker 4: Alright. So, final question. It's either the easiest, one of the toughest one on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there.

Speaker 7: well, I've always liked the beatles and here comes the, it's just a, it's just a cute little ditty that, uh, just kind of brings a smile to everybody's face.

Speaker 4: Exactly right. As it comes on, everybody start smiling. Here comes the sun. I love it. Here comes the sun and in Montana across the country and you know, hopefully across the world here, right morgan, you're doing more than just your part. So, uh, thanks so much. Thanks for giving us a few minutes and like I said, we'll keep in touch. How about that?

Speaker 7: Alright. So reallY appreciate you visiting with me today.

Speaker 1: And there you have rate morgan, Pamela Anderson before him and anita morgan before them. Can't thank the morgans enough. A thank you to Pamela Anderson and uh, you know, It's still not going to be easy up there in North Dakota, but very much appreciated talking to them and we will keep in touch and thank you for keeping in touch with us. Thanks so much 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.