2023: Minnesota’s political headlines in review

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A political party in Minnesota is accusing the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of trying to disrupt the democratic process.

Last week, the Minnesota DFL claimed the Legal Marijuana Now Party failed to meet the requirements to maintain major party status. DFL Chairman Ken Martin said “it’s clear” the LMN Party doesn’t make the major-status cut.

“The Minnesota DFL and the Minnesota GOP are the only two political parties that meet (major party status) threshold,” Martin said. “But fortunately, there is a major political party for legalization supporters — the party that actually legalized cannabis, the Minnesota DFL.”  

The Legal Marijuana Now Party says keeping its candidates off the ballot would restrict voters’ choices, and said it trusts the court will agree.

“The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party wants to ignore the will of 190,000 Minnesotans who awarded the Legal Marijuana Now! Party ballot access, through at least 2024, by casting votes for LMN Party’s United States Senator candidate, in 2020,” party chair Dennis Schuller. “The LMN Party organization believes that the election system works. Minnesota LMN Party has a solid record of supporting election judges, and counting every vote. On March 5, the Legal Marijuana Now! Party is asking their voters to help them choose a national presidential ticket.”

Both the DFL and Minnesota’s Republican Party have supported legislation to raise the threshold to reach major party status.

Last year, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana. The LMNP gained major party status after its 2018 candidate for state auditor, Michael Ford, received nearly 134,000 votes, which was 5.28% of the total vote. Before the law changed last year, 5% was the minimum required for the status upgrade.

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