IP to push for the legalization of marijuana in Minnesota

Delegates attending the Independence Party of Minnesota’s state convention in St. Cloud today adopted a party platform that calls for the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana.

“Party members spoke to allowing for personal choice and individual responsibility throughout the convention,” said Kyle Lewis, Independence Party executive director.

The plan would put the Independence Party on the forefront of a growing national movement calling for the legalization of marijuana. Voters in Colorado and Washington passed ballot measures in November that allowed for the recreational use of marijuana.

No one in the Minnesota Legislature proposed a bill this year that would have legalized marijuana but there is likely to be a push next year to allow it for medicinal purposes.

The Independence Party also passed a resolution that would lift the party’s ban on special interest PAC money. The ban on PAC money has been considered a “core tenant” of the IP since its formation in 1992 (it was initially founded as the Reform Party of MN).

The IP has held major party status in Minnesota since Jesse Ventura was elected governor in 1998.

Party leaders also re-elected Party Chair Mark Jenkins of Maplewood to a second full term.

  • Malcolm Kyle

    When we regulate something we do NOT automatically condone it’s use; the regulations concerning alcohol and tobacco are there to protect us from the vast increase in criminality that would otherwise exist were these substances to be prohibited.

    A regulated and licensed distribution network for all mind altering substances would put responsible adult supervision between children and premature access to drug distribution outlets (illegal street dealers). Regulated and licensed distribution would reflect and respect society’s values, thus preventing children obtaining easy access to these substances. What we need is legalized regulation. What we have now, due to prohibition, is a non-regulated black market to which everybody has access and where all the profits go to organized crime, corrupt politicians, and terrorist cells.

    Prohibition causes massive crime and suffering, causes government/police corruption, causes America to have the highest prison population of any nation in the history of the planet, causes Americans to lose all their rights and all their true values, causes the waste of trillions in taxpayer dollars, and causes wars, violence and death.

    The prisons are bursting. Much of the judiciary and most (if not all) law enforcement agencies are corrupt. We are no no longer safe in our own homes. The whole country is on the verge of a total social and financial collapse. Please wake up!

  • Bruce Anderson

    Correction: the IP has had major party status since Ross Perot’s 17% vote in MN in 1992.

  • cfmccann

    Malcolm Kyle: you are absolutely correct. I agreed with all your statements. We are losing a LOT of money to the underground economy in marijuana. We should legalize it, regulate it, and tax it to bring all that money back into our economy. The societal expenses that would not be warranted would save the nation trillions of dollars.

    • Jerick

      Absolutely! MJ legalized fixes both ends of the economic problem. Revenue and Spending.

      We can legalize it, tax it, and regulate it. Inject millions into the states’ revenue from taxes. Quit wasting money on the un-enforceable prohibition, prisons, court costs, police hours and budgets. The net gain would be unimaginably beneficial to the region. We could pay for an awful lot of PSAs warning children of the dangers, update our critical infrastructure, you name it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Minnesota-Dads-for-Marijuana/545350562183876 Robert

    That is fantastic news! Needs work but it’s a great start and has my full support and endorsement. @ Minnesota Dads For Marijuana / Face Book

  • Allie Drake

    Black markets for marijuana tend not to have any organized crime unless they intermingle with other drugs. That being said though, regulating marijuana may help people stray away from that lifestyle that breeds organized crime, which is only growing under prohibition. A lot less people would turn to more harmful drugs.

    To be honest, I haven’t heard a single good reason why marijuana is illegal.

  • james

    What really gets me is how republicans complain about the commerce clause being over reaching with no defined limits yet at the same time do not realize that drugs laws especially the ones prohibiting marijuana are the exact reason the commerce clause has no defined limits. In order to prohibit a natural plant the government needs to have a regulatory clause that has no limits. So why are any of you surprised about the legality of Obama-care. It was the decision in Gonzales V Raich that gave the government the constitutional basis under the commerce clause to regulate any good or service it wants. Marijuana prohibition wasn’t what was being argued in Gonzales V Raich. It was the scope of the commerce clause. You can read over Raich and substitute the word tomato in for the word marijuana and the ruling has the same effect. The Raich decsion held that the government can regulate any commerce and not only commerce but anything directly related to commerce as well (seeing that Raich never actually sold the marijuana they grew it for thier own personal consumption). So quit your whining you caused this so called big government problem for yourself. If the government can prohibit a plant then the precedent is set so that they can regulate anything…period! And now not only can they prohibit any good or service but they can mandate you buy any good or service.

    • Jerick

      All true, and an excellent comment.

      However, the problem is that Republicans aren’t truly against big government. They may slam their fists on the table and rally against it, but the ones in power benefit from it, and therefore wish to continue it’s existence.

  • Dale D Willkinson

    Let’s not forget the efforts of The MN Grassroots Party, especially in the 1994 MN Constitutional election!

  • Rick

    Is nobody else horrified the IP lifted a ban on PAC money coming into campaigns? That is HUGE for this party. It’s funny that news is covered up by their stance on marijuana reform.

    • Matt

      I believe PACs are a necessary evil, Rick, given the current political paradigm. The IP’s only major victory has been Ventura. That was a LONG time ago, I’m 31 and I wasn’t able to even vote at that time. I have supported the IP through quite a drought and I would like to see them WIN and to do that, they need money, and in this system, you get money through PACs. Furthermore, their stance on marijuana is the kind of stance that I expect from a true third party based on liberty and populism. This is wonderful news all around.

      • Jerick

        Yes- it is a necessary evil at this time. We have to play by their rules, get into the machine, then we can start ripping its guts out.