For Immediate Release Contact: email@example.com, 952.239.9150
October 28,2020: Leaders from Minnesota’s largest cannabis legalization advocacy groups have issued the following statement in response to recent reporting that several individuals running for office as third-party marijuana legalization candidates were recruited by the Minnesota Republican Party to pull votes from Democratic candidates:
It is unconscionable to see the exploitation of voters who care about reforming our antiquated cannabis laws with a system of responsible regulation and taxation by the very same Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Minnesota Republican Party that has blocked progress on cannabis reform for years (including patient-centered medical cannabis reform) and doubled-down on the pernicious effects of prohibition that have preyed on communities of color.
It was just in the 2018 election that two marijuana legalization parties achieved standing to show up on future ballots as a recognized political party in Minnesota. This monumental achievement ushered the last two years during which legislators from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer Labor (DFL) party worked closely with cannabis legalization advocates, including representatives from the marijuana parties, to develop our state’s first comprehensive proposal for adult-use cannabis legalization. The biggest obstacle to the passage of this and other legislation to reform our cannabis laws has been, without question, the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate.
Now, one major election later—the most important in a century by many accounts—the efforts of the marijuana legalization parties has been hijacked by Republican operatives seeking to game the system.
Placing Republican foils on the ballot under the guise of serving as legalization advocates sows distrust of what is supposed to be a democratic system. As such, we, the undersigned, together call on voters who care about ending cannabis prohibition to vote for the DFL-endorsed candidates on their ballot rather than those who may only be masquerading as part of our cause. You can access a list of candidates we have reviewed and confirmed as part of our Cannabis Coalition Certification here. We find that these individuals uphold a desire to responsibly legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota while dismantling the systems and laws that have had an outsized impact on communities of color.
Leili Fatehi Campaign Manager, Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation
Policy Director, Sensible Change MN
Michael Ford Executive Director, MN NORML