Several Minnesota Republicans vying for the state legislature have been recruited by party operatives to run on the Legal Marijuana Now Party or the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, the Minnesota Reformer reports. The candidates running under the legalization party would likely siphon votes from their Democratic challengers due to the progressive party line.
State Senate candidate Robyn Smith, who is running on the Legal Marijuana Now Party ticket – which garnered 5 percent of statewide votes in 2018, pushing it to major party status in the state – said that while she believes cannabis should be legalized, her social media campaign focuses on supporting Republican President Donald Trump and other right-wing causes, the report says.
Jason Hoschette is carrying the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party banner in the Northfield area district election, which is currently represented by a Republican. Hoschette is reportedly close to Republican Senate aide Pat Kaluza who is also chair of his local GOP Senate district organization.
Tyler Becvar, another Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate running for a seat held by Democrat Sen. Dan Sparks, is also a Trump supporter and his Facebook page contains posts attacking Democrats and spreading conspiracies about George Soros, a longtime donor to Democrats and the party, according to the report.
Adam Charles Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate vying for the 2nd Congressional District, had posted pro-Trump, anti-Democrat posts on his Facebook page in both the 2016 and 2018 election cycles and as recently as last month targeted “liberals” for “framing” the president in “the shame of the Russia probe,” the report says. In an interview with the Reformer, Weeks walked back his comments, saying he was “wrong” about Trump and that he is a regular cannabis user and advocate for its legalization in the state. Recent social media posts show him protesting the killing of George Floyd.
Rae Hart Anderson is seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson on the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party ticket – her Twitter background features Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and features nothing about cannabis legalization. She will face off against Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party hopeful Kevin Shores – an authentic party candidate – in a primary.
Marty Super, outgoing chair of Legal Marijuana Now Party, said that the fledgling party was concerned about it being coopted once it achieved major-party status because anyone can file for candidacy under the banner without having to collect signatures to get on the ballot.
Chris Wright, a leader of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, said he doesn’t sympathize with Democrats who lose the election because of the cannabis parties because both Republican and Democratic parties, “are rotten on both sides.”
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