Well, That’s One Way to Handle the Rat-F%$#ing

Several members of Minnesota’s Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party are pushing to change its name to the Constitutional Liberty Party, a direct response to allegations that conservatives recruited marijuana candidates to act as spoilers to Democrats in 2020.

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The party’s internal turmoil has emerged ahead of the state’s candidate filing period for 2022 and as some pro-marijuana activists are grappling with allegations that their party was used as a spoiler in several critical legislative and congressional swing races in the election two years ago.

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In several of those close races, Democrats said the marijuana party pulled enough votes from their candidates to hand Republicans victory. Minnesota’s DFL Party and top Democrats also support legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults.

Candidates running under the banner of the proposed Constitutional Liberty Party could flip that strategy, likely pulling votes from Republican candidates instead of Democrats.

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In 2020, some of the registered marijuana candidates didn’t campaign or have any connection with the pro-legalization parties. Some of those candidates had ties to Republican politics or posted on social media in favor of conservative candidates.

One of them was Adam Weeks, who ran on the Legal Marijuana Now Party ticket. In a voicemail to a friend, he said Republicans had recruited him to draw votes away from U.S. Rep. Angie Craig in the Second District. Weeks died before the election but still pulled in nearly 25,000 votes. Craig narrowly beat GOP challenger Tyler Kistner by about 9,000 votes.

In southern Minnesota’s First District, DFLer Dan Feehan lost by roughly 13,400 votes in a race where a little-known pro-marijuana candidate drew more than 21,000 votes. Democrats blamed that candidate for handing the race to the late GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn, as well as helping Republicans win at least two state legislative seats.

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