Marijuana Reform Party
|Marijuana Reform Party|
Politics of the United States|
The Marijuana Reform Party (abbreviated MRP) was a progressive minor political party in the U.S. state of New York dedicated to the legalization of cannabis. Founded in 1997, the Marijuana Reform Party ran a candidate for Governor of New York and other statewide offices in 1998 and 2002.
Finding that the ability of the Marijuana Reform Party to submit petitions containing enough signatures to run candidates in statewide elections demonstrated that it enjoyed a modicum of support in the New York State electorate, in 2004 a federal appeals court ordered the New York state board of elections to recognize the Marijuana Reform Party, allow voters to enroll in it, and to tabulate and make available lists of voters enrolled in the party.
The Marijuana Reform Party was one of several minor parties that fulfilled a role almost unique to New York State politics. New York law allows electoral fusion — a candidate can be the nominee of multiple parties and aggregate the votes received on all the different ballot lines. Several other states allow fusion, but only in New York is it commonly practiced. In fact, since each party is listed with its own line on New York ballots, multiple nominations mean that a candidate's name can be listed several times on the ballot.
Competition with the Green Party
In 1998, gubernatorial candidate Tom Leighton accused the Green Party of New York of trying to have him removed several times from the November ballot by "challenging the validity of his petition signatures". The Board of Elections rejected the claim lodged by Richard Hirsh of the Green Party. Both parties, which appeal to liberal voters, competed for 50,000 votes required for an automatic ballot line on future ballots. After both parties failed to obtain enough votes to gain a place on local and statewide ballots, Leighton stated that he had "no plans to try again next time."
- 1998 â Thomas K. Leighton and Jeffrey C. Wright
- 2002 â Thomas K. Leighton and Thomas J. Hillgardner
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- Bonanos, Christopher (September 28, 1998). "Politics: Marijuana Party Accuses Green Party of Weed-Whacking". New York. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
- Worth, Robert (November 7, 2002). "The 2002 Elections: Smaller Parties; Liberal Party and Others Fall Short of Votes to Stay on Ballot". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
- Ruscitti, Frank (November 3, 2008). "Reefer Madness". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
- "Marijuana Reform Party Candidates To Appear On New York State Ballot". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. September 20, 2002. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
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