Minn. Marijuana-Backing Parties Poised to Gain Major Party Status

Updated: November 07, 2018 07:00 PM

Despite efforts by three longtime Minnesota third parties to gain major party status in Minnesota, it appears the status will actually go to two parties that back marijuana legalization.

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Minnesota state law says any party that receives five percent or more of the vote in a statewide election is considered a major party.  The status gives parties automatic ballot access and more campaign subsidies.

In Tuesday's election, unofficial results show the Legal Marijuana Now party's Michael Ford received just over five percent of the votes in the State Auditor race, while the Grassroots - Legalize Cannabis party's Noah Johnson received nearly six percent of the votes in the Attorney General race.

Meanwhile, the Independence, Green, and Libertarian parties failed to attract five percent of the vote in any statewide race despite a gentlemen's agreement to stay out of each other's way.  The parties did not compete against each other in any statewide race.

The Independence Party lost major party status in 2014, and the Green Party briefly held it in the early 2000s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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