|Headquarters||1835 Englewood Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
|Political position||Libertarian left|
|Colors||Green, Gold, Red|
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the United States
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.
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.
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 of the party is from the popular chant, "What do we want?" "Legal marijuana." "When do we want it?" "Now!"
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."
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 the 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 the annual convention held in January.
Legal Marijuana Now Party has state chapters in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. And Congressional District chapters in Saint Paul and Omaha.
|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||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 2018.
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.
Legal Marijuana Now Minnesota 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.
|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%|
|2016||United States Representative, District 4||Susan Sindt||27,152||7.71%|
|2016||United States Representative, District 5||Dennis Schuller||30,759||8.50%|
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 Minnesota, there is a two-week petitioning period in May 2018. If there is a special election meanwhile, the petitioning window for a special election is only one week in length. Legal Marijuana Now Minnesota is organizing a petition drive to put candidates onto the ballot in the 2018 election.
According to Legal Marijuana Now Minnesota, the right to grow a garden is protected by the Minnesota Constitution. The Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party and other state legalization organizations are lobbying the Legislature to give the people of Minnesota a chance to vote for cannabis in 2018.
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.
In Nebraska, voters can petition to put the law itself onto the ballot for a vote. Legal Marijuana Now Party organizer Mark Elworth is circulating a new petition to secure ballot access for the party. And, at the same time, Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now is petitioning to put an initiative to decriminalize non-medical cannabis onto the statewide ballot in 2018.
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.
Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party's e-newsletter, Freedom Gazette, is published quarterly. The Freedom Gazette is currently edited by Dan Vacek.
The Minnesota Weed newsletter is produced independently by Legal Marijuana Now Party co-founder Oliver Steinberg. The Weed newsletter was originally conceived in 1982 as a publication of the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The Weed currently is published to promote campaigns of candidates from all parties who support the rights of people who consume cannabis.
Or Legal Marijuana Now Party critics, whether pro-cannabis or not, argue that involvement in third parties, contrary to the intended goal of increasing voter-participation, steals votes from progressive candidates in important elections. Though third party candidates do get elected across the United States from time to time, according to an editorial in The New York Times, "a third-party candidate ... will most assuredly lose."
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