Pubdate: Thu, 03 Nov 2016
Source: Bismarck Tribune (ND)
Copyright: 2016 The Bismarck Tribune
Author: Dave Kolpack


FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A group pushing to legalize medical marijuana in
North Dakota is making a last-minute advertising push thanks to a
surprise donation from a national organization,

North Dakota Compassionate Care, which is sponsoring an initiated
measure on the state's ballot, quickly organized the ad campaign after
receiving $15,000 last week from Drug Policy Action, said group
spokeswoman Anita Morgan. DPA is the political arm of a group that
advocates for the overhaul of drug laws.

"All of a sudden, poof, we get this money," Morgan said Thursday.
"We've wanted to tell the stories of real North Dakotans who would
experience real benefits from medical marijuana and now we can. They
are people, not a measure."

The proposed law would allow qualifying patients to possess up to 3
ounces of medical marijuana for treatment of about a dozen medical
conditions, such as cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, glaucoma and
epilepsy. North Dakota is one of four states that will decide medical
marijuana ballot measures next week.

The promotion includes one television ad and five online ads with
testimonials from North Dakota residents who want the option of using
marijuana to help alleviate chronic pain. The TV spot features Sheri
Paulson, a Galesburg woman who says doctors believe pot will ease some
of her suffering from multiple sclerosis.

"North Dakotans take care of one another," Paulson says, fighting back
tears. "That's why I'm asking you to vote 'yes' on Measure 5."

The TV ad was first aired Thursday morning during the Today Show and
Good Morning America. It is scheduled to run during hockey games
between the University of North Dakota and University of Minnesota on
Friday and Saturday, and during Saturday's football game between North
Dakota State University and Youngstown State University.

No money has been raised in opposition to the measure. The North
Dakota Medical Association has come out against it, saying there's no
way to ensure safe usage of marijuana.

"Hopefully people can see through the anecdotal stories and look at
the evidence and facts behind Measure 5," said Courtney Koebele, the
medical association's executive director.
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