Legal Marijuana Now Party
Legal Marijuana Now is a political third party in the United States established in 1998 to oppose drug prohibition. The party shares many of the progressive values of the Farmer-Labor Party but with an emphasis on marijuana/hemp legalization issues.
|Colors||Green, Gold, Red|
|Seats in the Senate|
0 / 100
|Seats in the House|
0 / 435
0 / 50
|State Upper House Seats|
0 / 1,972
|State Lower House Seats|
0 / 5,411
Legal Marijuana Now is a social democratic party that is anti-war, pro-labor and supports the rights of all minority groups. The Legal Marijuana Now Party promotes wise environmental stewardship, and denounces corporate personhood.
United States Bill of RightsEdit
The permanent platform of the Legal Marijuana Now party is the Bill of Rights. All Legal Marijuana Now candidates would end marijuana/hemp prohibition, thus re-legalizing cannabis for all its uses.
The Legal Marijuana Now Party is a grassroots group that derives their strength from the people. Legal Marijuana Now Party is pro-labor and anti-war. Prohibition endangers public safety by fostering corruption, curtailing civil liberties, and perpetuating racism. The Legal Marijuana Now Party believes legalization would bring more jobs and money into the economy.
According to Mark Elworth, Jr., the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate for vice president in 2016, "Let's let farmers produce environmentally-friendly hemp again."
The official mascot of the Legal Marijuana Now party is the cannabis leaf.
Marvelous Cannabis Leaf is a personification of the mascot that was first drawn as part of the cartoon "Marijuana Legalization in Minnesota is Not Inevitable" on April 20, 2015, by artist and standup comedian Andy Schuler.
A panda wearing a cannabis-leaf shirt is an alternate mascot of the Legal Marijuana Now Party.
The party logo consists of a raised fist, superimposed with the cannabis leaf mascot and the name of the party, Legal Marijuana Now.
Legal Marijuana Now Party official colors are the Rastafari colors, green, gold, and red, and sometimes black. The colors are from the flag of Ethiopia and are also the colors of the Youth International Party flag.
Alternate colors for the Legal Marijuana Now Party are a rainbow flag, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet, representing inclusiveness.
And alternate Legal Marijuana Now Party colors are red, white, and blue, representing the flag of the United States.
The official banner is the name of the party in white lettering, on an emerald green background. The letter 'O' in the word 'Now' on the banner is interwoven with a cannabis leaf.
The name Legal Marijuana Now was chosen so that the message is clear and every vote would be counted as an unmistakable vote to legalize Marijuana.
—Bob Marley (1945-1981)
The Legal Marijuana Now Party pledgeEdit
- Legalize homegrown cannabis
- Erase past marijuana convictions
- Ban employment drug testing
- Abolish the Drug Enforcement Administration
Philosophy of the Legal Marijuana Now PartyEdit
In a speech to the Saint Paul branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in October 2014, Legal Marijuana Now candidate for Attorney General of Minnesota, Dan Vacek, said, "Like alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition must be repealed and replaced by regulation, education, and moderation. When we take that step, we take the first step toward healing our nation."
Structure and compositionEdit
Grassroots organizations are associated with bottom-up rather than top-down decision making. The Legal Marijuana Now Party seeks to engage ordinary people in political discourse to the greatest extent possible.
All decisions on important organizational and financial subjects must be reached by a leadership Head Council, which consists of Legal Marijuana Now Party members with at least three consecutive years participation in the party and officers elected by the members at an annual convention held in January.
State and local chaptersEdit
Legal Marijuana Now Party has state chapters in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. And Congressional District chapters in Saint Paul and Omaha.
U.S. presidential candidatesEdit
Legal Marijuana Now Party results in presidential electionsEdit
|Year||Candidate||VP candidate||Ballot access||Popular votes||Percentage||National rank|
Dan Vacek of Minnesota
Mark Elworth of Nebraska
|IA, MN||13,537||0.01%||10th of 31|
The Youth International Party, formed in 1967 to advance the counterculture of the 1960s, often ran candidates for public office. The Yippie flag is a five-pointed star superimposed with a cannabis leaf.
The Grassroots Party was founded in Minnesota in 1986 and ran numerous candidates for state and federal offices. The party was active in Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont. Grassroots Party ran candidates in every presidential election from 1988 to 2000.
In 1996 the Minnesota Grassroots Party split, forming the Independent Grassroots Party for one election cycle. John Birrenbach was the Independent Grassroots Presidential candidate and George McMahon was the Vice-presidential candidate. Dan Vacek was the Independent Grassroots candidate for United States Representative, District 4, in 1996.
In 1998, members of the Independent Grassroots Party formed the Legal Marijuana Now political party.
1998 election results in MinnesotaEdit
|1998||United States Representative, District 4||Dan Vacek||5,839||2.40%|
Iowa Legal Marijuana Now Party placed their presidential candidates on the 2016 ballot by petitioning the state. If the party receives two-percent of the vote in a statewide race they can claim minor party access in Iowa. Legal Marijuana Now Iowa is organizing a petition drive to put candidates onto the ballot in 2020.
Minnesota does not allow voters to petition to put the law itself onto the ballot for a vote. The only petition the people can use in Minnesota is to nominate independent and third party candidates for office.
In 2014, Dan Vacek ran for Minnesota Attorney General as the Legal Marijuana Now candidate and got 57,604 votes, qualifying the party to be officially recognized and to receive public funding from the state.
Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now held their first convention and adopted a party constitution on November 26, 2014. Founding members Oliver Steinberg, Marty Super, and Dan Vacek comprised the organization's 2015 leadership council.
In 2016, Michael Ford was elected chairperson of the Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party.
The Legal Marijuana Now Party placed a candidate, Zach Phelps, on the ballot in the Minnesota State Senate District 35 Special Election, in February 2016.
The Legal Marijuana Now Party placed a candidate, John “Sparky” Birrenbach, of Pine City on the ballot in the Minnesota State Senate District 11 Special Election, in February 2019.
Results in Minnesota state electionsEdit
|2014||Minnesota Attorney General||Dan Vacek||57,604||2.99%|
|2016||Minnesota State Senator, District 35||Zachary Phelps||180||4.10%|
|2016||Minnesota State Senator, District 60||Martin Super||8,861||21.78%|
|2018||Minnesota State Auditor||Michael Ford||133,913||5.28%|
|2019||Minnesota State Senator, District 11||John Birrenbach||298||1.91%|
Results in federal elections in MinnesotaEdit
|2016||United States Representative, District 4||Susan Pendergast Sindt||27,152||7.71%|
|2016||United States Representative, District 5||Dennis Schuller||30,759||8.50%|
|2018||United States Senator||Dennis Schuller||66,236||2.55%|
|2018||United States Senator||Sarah Wellington||95,614||3.70%|
|2018||United States Representative, District 4||Susan Pendergast Sindt||13,776||4.19%|
The Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now Party is petitioning to be recognized as a major political party. That earns candidates inclusion in the official state voters guide. To make the ballot, Legal Marijuana Now Party must have valid signatures equal to at least one-percent of the total votes cast for governor in 2014, or 5,397 signatures statewide. The party also must have a certain number of signatures from each of the state's three congressional districts.
In July, 2016, volunteers turned in 9,000 signatures to the Nebraska Secretary of State. However, the Secretary of State said that half of the signatures were invalid, falling short of the 5,397 needed.
After failing to make it onto Nebraska ballots in 2016, party organizer Mark Elworth began circulating petitions for 2020 ballot access for a Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now Party in September, 2016. Elworth said the group will collect double the number of signatures they submitted in 2016, in order to ensure their success. As of September, 2017, Elworth told a television reporter that Legal Marijuana Now Party had gathered signatures of 10,000 registered Nebraska voters.
New Jersey historyEdit
The New Jersey Legalize Marijuana Party was established in 1998 by Edward Forchion to protest cannabis prohibition. Forchion ran for US Representative in 1998, Camden County Freeholder in 1999, New Jersey Governor in 2005, and US Senator in 2006. In 2014 Don Dezarn ran for US Representative in New Jersey's 12th congressional district as the Legalize Marijuana candidate. Forchion filed a lawsuit in an attempt to get onto the ballot in 2014 for New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, but a judge dismissed the lawsuit. Forchion ran for US Representative for New Jersey's 12th congressional district in 2016.
Results in New Jersey state electionsEdit
|1999||NJ General Assembly 8||Edward Forchion||659||1.2%|
|2005||NJ Governor||Edward Forchion||9,137||0.4%|
|2011||NJ General Assembly 8||Edward Forchion||1,653||1.9%|
Results in federal elections in New JerseyEdit
|1998||US Representative 1||Edward Forchion||1,257||1.0%|
|2000||US Representative 1||Edward Forchion||1,959||0.9%|
|2006||US Senator||Edward Forchion||11,593||0.5%|
|2012||US Representative 3||Edward Forchion||1,956||0.6%|
|2014||US Representative 12||Don Dezarn||1,330||0.9%|
|2016||US Representative 12||Edward Forchion||6,094||2.1%|
Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party's e-newsletter, Freedom Gazette, is published quarterly. The Freedom Gazette is edited by Dan Vacek.
- Simons, Abby (November 5, 2014) Minors Lead on Marijuana Star Tribune
- Gettman, Jon (February 9, 2016) Minnesota Maverick Pushes Legalization Platform in Special Election High Times
- Pluhacek, Zach (September 14, 2016) Marijuana groups already petitioning for 2018 ballot Lincoln Journal Star
- Bierschbach, Briana (November 7, 2018) Minnesota poised to get two new major pot parties Minnesota Public Radio
- Legal Marijuana Now Party Gains Traction WCCO-TV, November 7, 2018
- Pugmire, Tim (September 25, 2019). "New political parties try to organize around support for legal marijuana". Minnesota Public Radio.
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- Legal Marijuana Now Party (United States)
- Iowa Legal Marijuana Now Party
- Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party
- Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now Party
- New Jersey Legalize Marijuana Party
- Wisconsin Legal Marijuana Now Party