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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Supporters of North Dakota’s Measure 5 on Wednesday announced the launch of a statewide ad campaign that features several seriously ill North Dakotans making emotional pleas for legal access to medical marijuana. In less than a week, voters will decide the fate of the citizen initiative, which would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions — including those in the ads — to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

North Dakotans  - Sheri Paulson of Galesburg helped gather signatures to get the medical marijuana measure on the North Dakota ballot. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and has been told that medical marijuana could help her pain. Now, she's appearing in a TV ad for Measure 5. [David Samson / The Forum]
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Sheri Paulson of Galesburg helped gather signatures to get the medical marijuana measure on the North Dakota ballot. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and has been told that medical marijuana could help her pain. Now, she’s appearing in a TV ad for Measure 5.
[David Samson / The Forum]

The TV ad features Sheri Paulson, a Galesburg woman who has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for 15 years. It will begin airing statewide Thursday on the Today Show and Good Morning America and will run during the University of North Dakota hockey games against Minnesota on Friday and Saturday, as well as the Harvest Bowl football game between North Dakota State University and Youngstown State University.

“It is extremely difficult living day to day with the pain I experience,” Paulson says in the ad. “My family sees on a daily basis how much I suffer.”

“I have talked to my doctors about medical marijuana, and they are in agreement about how this could help improve the quality of my life,” the North Dakota native said, holding back tears. “North Dakotans take care of one another. That’s why I’m asking for you to vote ‘Yes’ on Measure 5.”

Paulson is also featured in a set of web and mobile display ads that read, “The pain caused by multiple sclerosis can be unbearable sometimes. Medical marijuana would help me.”

Additional web and mobile display ads feature these North Dakotans:

•    Hayley, a Minot girl suffering from Dravet syndrome. “Dravet syndrome can cause more than 100 seizures per day,” she says. “Medical marijuana would help me.”

•    Karla, a Fargo woman with Stage 4 colon cancer who recently went into remission. “Treating cancer with chemotherapy causes severe pain and nausea,” she says. “Medical marijuana would help me.”

•    Sam, a Bismarck man suffering from severe epilepsy. “Severe epilepsy causes seizures that leave me unable to walk or talk,” he says. “Medical marijuana would help me.”

•    Ravonne, a Fargo woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “Parkinson’s disease causes tremors and debilitating muscle pain,” she says. “Medical marijuana would help me.”

•    Marcus, a young Fargo man suffering from cystic fibrosis. “Cystic fibrosis causes such a severe loss of appetite, it becomes dangerous,” he says. “Medical marijuana would help me.”

“These are real North Dakotans who would experience real benefits from medical marijuana,” said Anita Morgan of North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016, the Marijuana Policy Project-sponsored group which is supporting Measure 5. “It is a sensible and compassionate proposal that would ensure patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it.”

The ‘Faces of Measure 5’ ad campaign, which includes a TV spot and a series of web ads, can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2fbic9s.

North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016 is a committee formed to support Measure 5, a citizen initiative on the November ballot that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program. For more information, visit http://YesOnMeasure5.com.

 

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