(flag of Yippies (Youth International Party)

by: Nick Maresco

Marijuana-based political parties. A lot of you probably haven’t heard of them before, and well, that’s because not too many people have. Although a bulk of the push to legalize Marijuana nation and statewide has occurred fairly recently, most Marijuana parties trace their founding to the late 20th century (or just a little after).

Some of the most well-known ‘Marijuana parties’ include the United States Marijuana Party, Legal Marijuana Now Party, Grassroots-Legalize Marijuana Party, and the Legalize Marijuana Party. All of the names sounding very similar.

In terms of policies, the parties also remain generally in sync. Each party is based on the legalization of Marijuana and ending the war on drugs. Besides the Marijuana aspect to their parties, they for the most part support basic Libertarian and Green Party policies. The idea of environmental/personal freedom and anti-Government Intervention is something that strongly resonates with them. The policies of some of these parties most times stretch further left than they ever will right, which is expected considering most conservatives find it much less pressing of an issue.

For example, the Legal Marijuana Now Party is described as “a social democratic party that is anti-war, pro-labor and supports the rights of all minority groups.” The Legal Marijuana Now Party promotes wise environmental stewardship and denounces corporate personhood. And although they fall center-left on the political spectrum, many of their core beliefs stretching back to the founders could be interpreted as further left than the common “modern-liberal,” due to the fact that new promoters of social democracy include a mixed belief on whether a government should be ran by a democratic or capitalist economy. While for most of recent history, social democracy has abandoned the belief that they should be communist or socialist institutions, the principles are once again becoming skewed in its belief system amongst its promoters and outsiders, as confusions amongst it and democratic socialism arise.

(Erik S. Lesser/Epa/Shutterstock)

To be blunt here and make so that it is not “black and white” to our readers, we will say that modern social-democracy *does* promote an economy ran on capitalism. Social Democracy merely promotes social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy.

Some more beliefs of the Legal Marijuana Now Party and others:

  • Legalize homegrown cannabis
  • Erase past marijuana convictions
  • Ban employment drug testing
  • Abolish the Drug Enforcement Administration

We think that the goal of these parties is to make it so that the cannabis plant is no more restricted than a coffee bean or an apple.

They believe so much in their right to a plant that they even quote the Bible to show that God is on their side.

The philosophy of the Legal Marijuana Now Party stems from a Bible verse in the Book of Revelations. According to the Book of Revelations (22:2), “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

Kind of inaccurate considered that Marijuana is a plant and not a tree, but we get their point.

These Parties Impact In Politics:

Across the years, there have been many candidates engaging in local and statewide elections, however, for the most part, most candidates won less than 5% percent of the vote. These parties primarily helped bring about better education on the effects of the plant, and reasons as to how it would help our nation economically, and socially.

Mostly by taxing the h*ll out of it.

In Presidential elections, 5 people from the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party ran, only one winning 0.01% of the vote.

The candidate being Dennis Peron, winning 5,378 votes in the 1996 Presidential election.

(Daniel Marans/The Huffington Post)

Overall:

These parties are trying to end the government’s long crusade against a plant they believe does so much more good than bad, and help resolve the myths around it.

The Beat: A syndicate in independent publishing.