For the past six years, Mark Elworth Jr. has been working on forming a party to support marijuana legalization in Nebraska. As the November 2020 election approaches, he figures he’s collected enough signatures over the years to make the Legal Marijuana Now Party official. The party was established in 1998 as an off-shoot of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party to oppose drug prohibition. Although it shares many of the same progressive values as the Farmer-Labor Party, it mostly focuses on hemp and marijuana legalization issues.
Back in 2014, Elsworth turned in the petition to officially register the party but came up just shy of the number of signatures he needed to certify, he says. This year, 6,800 signatures were required to register the party, and he turned in a whopping 15,000 signatures. Collected over the past couple of years by him and a few other people, the signatures made the Legal Marijuana Now Party eligible for registration and granted the party full ballot access in Minnesota.
“We’re focusing right now on the legalization of medical marijuana and have been in all 50 states,” Elsworth says. According to Cindi Allen, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office, the Legal Marijuana Now Party application was filed too late to be a part of November’s general election ballot. In the meantime, Elsworth will focus on keeping young people from leaving the state, he says.
The state legislature hasn’t been receptive to legalization measures. A recent petition initiative to legalize medical marijuana received enough signatures to get on the 2020 ballot and was certified by Secretary of State Bob Evnen but the Supreme Court ruled against his certification. Elsworth says that plenty of young people have aired their grievances about medical marijuana and are considering leaving the state due to the politics surrounding the issue.
“We need to stop that. We need to put up a fight. We can’t let our people go. We want to give people hope,” he says. “They think that this is hopeless. Over the next two years, he will concentrate on getting people registered for the party.
Additionally, an agreement between Elsworth and Evnen will see the signatures that were submitted to register the Legal Marijuana Now Party be processed after the Board of Canvassers meets to certify the results of the November election. If the signatures are sufficient, says Secretary of State spokeswoman Cindi Allen, the party will be recognized for the 2022 primary election.
What do sector players like Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) think about the chances of this new party triggering marijuana policy change? Every bit of effort invested in this movement counts!
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