Chris Wright is a Minneapolis small business owner, cannabis rights, and free speech activist who co-founded the Grassroots Party in 1986. In 1998, Mr. Wright was endorsed by the Grassroots Party for Governor of Minnesota. He got 1,727 votes. And in the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial election, he got 7,516 votes as a Grassroots candidate. Mr. Wright, a leader of Minnesota's drug war dissenters, was nominated by petition and got 31,259 votes for Governor as a Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis candidate in 2014.
Age: 60, Born October 14, 1957, Thomas Christopher Wright
Elementary School – Our Lady of Grace, Edina; Church of the Annunciation, Minneapolis; Kenny Elementary, Minneapolis
Junior High: Susan B. Anthony, Minneapolis
High School: Washburn High School, Minneapolis; Graduated West High School, Minneapolis
College: University of Minnesota – General College
NEI – Northwestern Electronics Institute, Minneapolis – Degree: Associate of Electronics
Owner/Operator of Genesis Computers, 2012-2017, Bloomington, MN; Presently Employed at World-Wide Tech Services
1986 – Co-founder MN NORML and the Grassroots Party – active in the campaign of physicist Derrick Grimmer for Attorney General. Writes Martin Olav Sabo to store our nuclear waste within nuclear wastelands, our nuclear bomb test sites. (1) (2) (3)
1987 – Held the first Minnesota Tea Party to protest the Reagan Era inspired War on Drugs.
1988 – Chris Wright runs for 5th District Congress – Opposing Rep. Martin Olav Sabo
1991 – Chris Wright applies to grow hemp under an obscure hemp control law (4) passed to enable farmers to grow hemp to make rope for the navy during a hemp shortage caused by the Japanese takeover of the Philippines in WWII. The law required that individuals obtain a license through the MN Department of Agriculture. (5) The Ag Commissioner refused to issue a license until a federal license was obtained.(6) The DEA told Mr. Wright that they don’t even give doctors or pharmacists their licenses until they have all their state licenses.(7) So, Mr. Wright went back to the state and demanded that he be issued a license. Rather than observe the law, the commissioner went to the legislature to have the law repealed, a clear violation of the Constitution banning the passage of an ex-post facto law, and refused to issue Mr. Wright’s license.
1992 – Abortive attempt to run for Congress: Due to state law enforcement interference to undermine Chris Wright’s campaign fundraiser, called the Grassroots Gathering, Mr. Wright was unable to run for Congress.(8)(9)
The courts in three counties, Kanabec, Cass & Beltrami counties handed down restraining orders to prevent candidate Wright from holding a campaign fundraiser.
Beltrami County police set up a roadblock on the Beltrami County line specifically for candidate Wright and warned him that if he put down anywhere in the county they would arrest him and confiscate all his equipment. Since candidate Wright owned 76-acres in Beltrami County, he was forbidden from inviting guests to his own property in Turtle River.
State police literally chased candidate Wright from Bemidji to the Twin Cities to thwart his campaign fundraiser, despite the fact that candidate Wright had broken no law.
1996 – Following the ex-post-facto denial of Mr. Wright’s application to grow hemp, Mr. Wright discovered that it said in Article 13, Section 7, of the Minnesota Constitution that, “Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden, occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.”(10) Since the MN Constitution supersedes MN statutes, Mr. Wright realized that the only thing that makes drugs illegal is being in possession without a license. Since it was forbidden to require a license of farm products, marijuana being a farm product in 1906 when Alwin Rowe introduced this amendment, all subsequent laws forbidding marijuana were illegal. Mr. Wright didn’t even need the license required under the previous hemp control law and began growing marijuana as a matter of civil disobedience. However, Mr. Wright was arrested for growing 41-marijuana plants and appealed his case all the way to the MN Supreme Court.
1998 – Chris Wright runs for Governor: While running for governor Mr. Wright’s marijuana case came before the MN Court of Appeals.(11)
Of course, there is a Bill of Rights exception to the War on Drugs, meaning drug prohibition. As usual courts don't care about the rule of law, or who makes them, as long as they get to interpret them. In addition, the powerful never vote to take away their police power. The court would have defied the laws of nature and God almighty to stop Mr. Wright because, to them, prohibition was the highest law in the land. And there’s no way any court in Minnesota would ever allow marijuana to be legalized regardless of what the Constitution said. Yet, Article 13, Section 7, had never been tested in the Minnesota courts. Mr. Wright was prosecuted by two candidates for governor, Atty. General Skip Humphrey and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Mr. Wright provided the court with the decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young (12) of the DEA in his ruling on the rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, acknowledging that there has never been a cannabis induced fatality in 5000 years of recorded medical history and that marijuana was safer than some foods because raw potatoes can cause a toxic effect, but you can’t eat enough marijuana to kill yourself. Despite Wright’s evidence to the contrary, the court ruled that Mr. Wright cannot sell un-safe products and that it was a privilege not a fundamental right. (13)(14) Mr. Wright disagreed maintaining that marijuana produces almost as much food as soybeans, which would mean that it’s only a privilege to grow food to feed yourself. Wright said, “What power doesn’t the legislature have if they can deny you food, clothing and shelter; all provided from hemp? What could be more fundamental to life itself?” Of course, there’s no way the court was going to let Mr. Wright legalize pot throughout the state, despite the supremacy of the constitution over statute. There was no way they were going to hold themselves accountable to law observance. They weren’t going to allow Mr. Wright to take away their police powers. It could have said, “Any person may sell or peddle marijuana” but the constitution went beyond that by saying, “the products of the farm or garden” meaning all cultivated plants. As expected the MN Supreme Court under Kathleen Blatz refused to hear Mr. Wright’s certiorari, basically affirming the precedence setting decision of the Court of Appeals.
1999 – Chris Wright starts the Global Marijuana March Minneapolis in conjunction with over 200 cities world-wide. Mr. Wright chooses Washburn Fair-Oaks Park because it is the symbolic beginning of the Drug War. The mother and father of narcotics prohibition were married at Fair Oaks. Elizabeth Washburn married Dr. Hamilton Wright who wrote the Opium Exclusion Act of 1909, The Hague Opium Convention of 1912, and the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. Mrs. Wright was the first-ever woman diplomat given plenipotentiary power to sign treaties by President Calvin Coolidge for her participation in the Opium Advisory Committee to the League of Nations’ Geneva Opium Convention 1924. Mrs. Wright was recruited to assist Federal Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger to gain passage of the Uniform Narcotics Control Act of 1932, helping Harry whip up reefer madness.
2002 – Chris Wright marches 400 Global Marijuana Marchers from Loring Park to the Minneapolis Convention Center where the Democratic State Convention was endorsing Roger Moe and Julie Sabo for the race for governor. In the post-911 atmosphere of the day, the convention security personnel were visibly disturbed, despite the peacefulness of the marchers.
2010 – Chris Wright runs for Governor with running mate Edwin Englemann for Lt. Governor.
2014 – Chris Wright runs for Governor with running mate David Daniels for Lt. Governor