DFL asks Minnesota Supreme Court to remove Legal Marijuana Now’s major party status

One of the three major political parties in Minnesota is seeking to have that number reduced to two.

This week, the Minnesota DFL Party petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court, asking justices to remove the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s major party status.

It comes after state lawmakers approved changes last year to Minnesota’s requirements for parties to achieve and keep major party status. Among those changes were an increase in the minimum number of votes at least one candidate from each major party receives and the major party’s organizational structure requirements.

For example, under the old law, each major party had to have at least one candidate get at least 5% of the vote and the party had to hold an annual convention for each congressional district or county in which it put forth a candidate. Under the new law, each major party has to have at least one candidate get at least 8% of the vote and must hold an annual convention for each congressional district plus at least 45 counties. The new law also requires the party to have executive committees for those counties or districts.

The lawsuit claims that the Minnesota Secretary of State certified Legal Marijuana Now’s major party status despite signs that the party failed to meet several of the new requirements.

“The Legal Marijuana Now Party very clearly did not meet the requirements to qualify for major party status,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said in a statement. “Every major party is expected to demonstrate that they are a serious organization by building their party and engaging voters in dozens of districts across Minnesota. The Minnesota DFL and the Minnesota GOP are the only two political parties that meet that threshold. But fortunately, there is a major political party for legalization supporters – the party that actually legalized cannabis, the Minnesota DFL.”

In a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Legal Marijuana Now contends that it “did our due diligence and worked closely with the Minnesota secretary of states office to comply with the rule changes recently passed by the legislature,” and also asserted that the law changes were “used specifically to target our party, our success and silence the voices of the thousands of Americans who have voted for us.”

“I feel sad that the the un-democratic party has chosen this path and I am confident about the information we have provided the state,” the party added in its statement.

While Minnesota legalized marijuana last year, the party says it is continuing its fight to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.

The DFL is likely concerned about the potential of the Legal Marijuana Now candidates siphoning votes from DFL candidates. Past media reports have linked some of the party’s candidates to the GOP.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon’s office about the lawsuit but his office declined comment.