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Grassroots Party is Once Again Minnesota's Fourth Most Active Political Party

Published on December 23, 2012, by in General.

The Grassroots Party, formed in Minnesota in 1986 to advocate marijuana law reform, appeared on the ballot in all Minnesota elections 1986 through 2000. In the years 1990 through 1994 it had more nominees on the ballot for federal and state office than any other Minnesota party besides the two major parties. After 2000 it ceased to appear on the ballot, and one of its founders joined the Green Party. See this wikipedia article about the Grassroots Party.

But, the Grassroots Party returned to the Minnesota ballot in 2010, for Governor. In 2012, it is the only party in Minnesota that ran a candidate both for President and for any congressional office. Its 2012 nominee for U.S. Senate, Tim Davis, polled over 1% of the vote, thus re-qualifying the party for some public funding.

However, the Grassroots Party is not ballot-qualified; Minnesota’s only ballot-qualified party besides the Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican Parties is the Independence Party, which hasn’t run anyone for President since 1996, when it supported Ross Perot and when its name was the Reform Party.

In 2012, Vermont’s ballot listed the United States Marijuana Party, for both Governor and U.S. Senator. However, this was not an actual organization, but the ballot label of Cris Ericson, who ran for both offices simultaneously. In 2010 she had appeared on the Vermont ballot with the label “United States Marijuana” for both Governor and U.S. Senator; and according to her web page, in 2014 she plans to again run for two offices simultaneously, but with the label “independent.” See her web page here. She had also run for two offices in 2004 with the “United States Marijuana” label and had run for two offices in 2006 and 2008 with the label “independent.”

28 Responses

  1. Jed Siple

    The U.S. Marijuana Party was an actual organization, but they may have shut down. From Politics1:

    “Founded in 2002, the US Marijuana Party (USMJP) is — as you would expect — a marijuana legalization entity espousing generally libertarian views. “The civil rights of Americans have been compromised by the war on drugs. Because the vast majority of citizens who use any illegal substance use only marijuana, the war on drugs is basically a war on marijuana. If you can pull the plug on the war on marijuana, you end the war on drugs as we know it. You shut down the prison industrial complex, and you restore the liberties that have been eroded because of this futile war on marijuana,” explains the USMJP. The party — which has chapters in a few states — is seeking marijuana legalization on a state-by-state basis. The USMJP has fielded a few candidates on state ballots under the party banner starting in 2004 — but most USMJP nominees to date have been relegated to running as write-in candidates.”

  2. There’s also a US Marijuana Party in Alabama.

  3. Jed Siple

    The state affiliates I know of are in Alabama, New Jersey, and Vermont. Their website was usmjp.org but when I went there today it was no longer available.

  4. Richard Winger

    I’m not persuaded that there ever was an organization named the United States Marijuana Party that placed candidates on the ballot with that label. The only person who has ever appeared on the ballot with label, to my knowledge, is Cris Ericson, and her web page doesn’t mention any actual organization. A political party has officers, a bank account, and a postal address (even if it’s just a PO Box, or the address of one of the officers).

    Her web page complains that the Vermont press doesn’t take her seriously, but anyone who has run for two important office simultaneously (always Governor, US Senator, or US House when US Senator isn’t up) five times in a row, going on six, shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously.

  5. johnO

    Doesn’t Cris Ericson run every two years? You would think she get elected to something by now. I think the Progressive Party has 5 reps and 2 state senators and are making headway against the D’s and R’s in Vermont. Maybe she should join the Progressive Party and leave Marijuana Party.

  6. johnO

    I agree if she ran as a Progressive Party candidate would be taken more seriously.

  7. USMJP

    As far as I know all they have are websites and bulletin boards, most or maybe all of which are defunct. But there have been people in various states claiming to be USMJP.

  8. Is Cris Ericson a progressive, libertarian, or neither?

  9. johnO

    I think she runs on single issue, legalize marijuana. She may be neither progressive or libertarian. Her running every two years one would think she would grow, not pun, the Marijuana Party and have some followers running too. Not sure her goals.

  10. She’s been on LP discussions before but I’m not sure whether she has claimed to LP/ libertarian on issues or not. She also made an “issue” about campaigning with her tits out but I can’t remember too much else.

  11. johnO

    Could run on a Topfree Vermont Party line?

  12. Jed Siple

    Cris Ericson is indeed the only U.S. Marijuana Party candidate to be placed on the ballot. In 2006, party founder Loretta Nall ran for Governor of Alabama as a Libertarian write-in candidate. In 2012, the party endorsed Gary Johnson for President. Here is the party’s Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Marijuana_Party . They list state chapters in California, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

  13. :-)

    The Marijuana Party needs to die and join the Libertarian Party, the only party completely dedicated to ENDING THE FALLACIOUS DRUG WAR!!!!

  14. johnO

    Topfree Alabama I can see. Warmer climate. Vermont kind of cold this time of year for Topfree. Stick with Marijuana in Vermont Cris Ericson.

  15. dave

    There was an organiation that was getting rid of laws that allowed people to run for two offices. How many states allow people to run for two offices at the same time?

  16. #16, that’s a difficult question. I don’t know.

  17. dave

    #17 There was an organiation out of Houston, that had some model legislation, it was looking to pass in various states. States like Montana, outlawed, running for two offices around 2001. And Montana also outlawed, running in two different political party primaries, as well during that time.

  18. Jed Siple

    @14

    She is now, yes. She formed the USMJP in 2002 but left and joined the LP in 2006 when she ran for Governor.

  19. johnO

    Good job Loretta Nall

  20. Will Fenwick

    #16, i know in new jersey the only people who can run for multiple public offices are those that held multiple offices before the law banning holding more than one office was introduced (the law grandfathered them in).
    The only general exception to the rule is that political party positions are exempt (state committee, county committe, ect which in new jersey are public offices). So someone may run for both a county committee seat and state assembly seat at the same time, ect.

  21. #16, Wisconsin allowed Paul Ryan to run for reelection to the US House of Representatives in 2012 at the same time as running for Vice President.

  22. Casual Bystander

    Texas allowed Lyndon Johnson to seek re-election to the Senate while being JFK’s running mate.

  23. Casual Bystander

    I also just remembered a Libertarian running for both State Representative and US Representative in the same election in Pennsylvania. I believe it was in 2006 or 2008.

  24. Casual Bystander

    Sorry for all the posts… it was 2004. Russ Diamond ran as a Libertarian for both US Rep District 17 and State Rep District 101.

  25. What’s wrong with someone running for two offices? If they so happen to win both they can pick which one they want.

  26. Richard Winger

    #26, but then there must be a special election to fill the vacancy.

  27. Special elections can be a good thing.

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