The latest candidate for attorney general wants to generate some buzz.
Noah Johnson, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis candidate for attorney general, is a 29-year-old Minneapolis attorney who got accepted to the state bar just a month ago.
Johnson’s name was added to the Secretary of State’s official candidate web page on June 12, well after the June 5 candidate filing deadline. Johnson met the deadline, but third-party candidates must submit petitions affixed with at least 2,000 petition signatures. Those must be certified before the candidate qualifies for a spot on the ballot.
For Johnson, that process took until June 11, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Now, he’s officially a candidate.
“My party’s goal is to sort of bring the issue of legalization out into the limelight in Minnesota and sort of put a little pressure on the two major parties to focus on the issue, which actually has broad bipartisan support,” Johnson said Wednesday.
His entrance makes Johnson the ninth person competing for the office being vacated by DFL incumbent Lori Swanson, who is running for governor.
Republicans in the race include Sharon Anderson, Bob Lessard and Doug Wardlow — the GOP’s endorsed candidate. Keith Ellison, Tom Foley, Debra Hilstrom, Mike Rothman and Matt Pelikan — the DFL’s endorsed candidate — will square off in the Aug. 14 DFL primary.
Johnson graduated from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law last year and says he has experience working with the ACLU and the Innocence Project of Minnesota. His campaign spotlighting marijuana legalization is similarly rooted in his sense of justice.
“Compared to other things that are legal — alcohol and tobacco — it seems morally impermissible to be subjecting people to criminal penalties,” Johnson said. “That harms their financial situation and it harms their families.”
Legalization is a simple step