Marijuana Reform Party Organizes in New York State 7/24/98

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


A coalition of activists from across New York State is moving to form a "Marijuana Reform Party" in this fall's elections. They are supporting a slate of five candidates for statewide office in order to achieve official ballot-line status in the state, taking their inspiration from the Grassroots Party of Minnesota, which made a similar effort in 1994.

"We are confident that we can get the 50,000 votes we need to get the ballot line, that's only 1% of the total vote," Thomas Leighton, the MRP candidate for Governor told The Week Online. Our biggest challenge is gathering the 15,000 signatures we need to get on the ballot to begin with. We only have a few more weeks, and need everyone who can in New York who supports this issue to join our petitioning drive."

New York state has a long history of smaller independent political parties playing important roles in "fusion" election campaigns. Organizers believe that with a ballot line of its own, the MRP will be able to gets its agenda into the political discourse, influence close elections, have more of a voice in the state legislature, and bring the marijuana issue further into the mainstream.

"Leighton for Governor" Campaign Manager Aaron Wilson told the Week Online, "There are all sorts of opportunities this approach could create. For example, there are many elected judgeships in the state that go uncontested each election. We could run candidates for local D.A. and Sheriff's offices, just to force a debate on the prohibition issue. The coin of the realm in New York is votes, and with even a small number of votes we will be able to get heard and effect changes in the laws."

The MRP campaign is being supported by a range of drug reformers in all parts of New York, including members of ReconsiDer, New York CAN (Rob Robinson, one of NY-CAN's activists is a candidate), college marijuana activists out of school for the summer, and the Rochester Cannabis Coalition. For more information or to contact the MRP, you can visit their web site at

Candidates and parties in other parts of the country are taking on the drug issue as well. In Orlando, Florida, Democratic Congressional candidate Al Krulick ( is challenging incumbent Bill McCollum, the sponsor of H.R. 372, the "sense of the house" resolution against medical marijuana; Krulick's key campaign plank is ending the war on drugs. Nationally, the Libertarian Party ( is fielding many candidates who are actively opposed to drug prohibition.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #51, 7/24/98 New York Mayor Giuliani Threatens to End Methadone Maintenance | Marijuana Reform Party Organizes in New York State | Orange County Medical Marijuana Distributor Sentenced to Four Years in Prison | Oakland City Council Votes Again To Support Medical Cannabis | Oppose Harsh New Mandatory Minimums -- Urge Congress to Vote Against H.R. 3898 -- an action alert from the Drug Policy Foundation | Strip Searches at O'Hare Get US Senator's Attention | Drug War Briefs | Quote of the Week Milton Friedman on Drugs | An Interview with Dr Robert Newman: methadone maintenance, and the self-inflicted wounds of the methadone establishment | Editorial: Prohibition, Punishment and Plano, Texas
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]