Nebraska’s Secretary of State Bob Evnen has given final go-ahead to Legal Marijuana Now (LMN) to begin activities as a political party in the state, the Associated Press reports. Evnen said the party can now register candidates for the 2022 election, voters can register as party members, and elected officials can nominate candidates for office.
In order to qualify, activists Mark Elworth Jr. and Krystal Gabel needed to collect at least one percent of the total number of votes in the latest governor’s race in Nebraska’s three Congressional Districts. They gathered over 10,000 valid signatures over a four-year period, which far exceeded the estimated 6,800 needed for approval.
“The Legal Marijuana Now Party is a political party organized in the United States to oppose drug prohibition. Legal Marijuana Now was established in 1998 in St. Paul, MN. It is a progression from the Grassroots party.” — LMN party website
Originally founded in Minnesota, LMN endorsed Senate candidate Kevin O’Connor, House District 2 candidate Adam Charles Weeks, and a host of others running for state office in 2020. The party’s platform includes the legalization of cannabis homegrows, the erasure of marijuana convictions, an end to employee drug testing, abolishing the Drug Enforcement Agency, and combating pollution with hemp agriculture.
“The voters of Nebraska have experienced many failed referendum petitions in the past and are currently witnessing a gridlocked Unicameral,” said Krystal Gabel, Legal Marijuana NOW’s National Party Chair. “The process of obtaining ballot access with the LMN petition breaks a decades-long political stalemate with the State of Nebraska on the issue of cannabis.”
After submitting the necessary signatures last year, Elworth stated his goal for the party in Nebraska was to discourage young people from leaving the state, saying that young Nebraskans feel “hopeless” when it comes to the state’s future and are leaving in droves.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to include the statement by Krystal Gabel of the LMN.
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