Nimbin’s MardiGrass might be postponed but the federal election is due to be announced any day. Legalise Cannabis (formerly the HEMP Party) has announced plans to run candidates nationally in both the Senate and some lower house seats.
‘How many local representatives we run depends on how much money we can raise,’ said party president Michael Balderstone. ‘The senate candidates are pretty well sorted and we’ve had a lot of members apply to run across the country for the lower house also.
‘There are two major driving forces behind our passion for change and one is the actual driving laws with their saliva testing and instant loss of license for just the presence of cannabis, nothing to do with impairment at all.
‘Even legally prescribed medical cannabis patients are not allowed to drive, which has severely limited its uptake. We are the only country on the planet with driving laws as harsh and unreal as this yet nobody seems to hear the multitude of voices calling for change.
Michael Balderstone says the other bugbear for cannabis users is not being allowed to grow their own medicine. ‘Millions of everyday Australians could so easily grow their own plants instead of pouring millions of dollars every week into the blackmarket. An ounce of pot, four grams a day for a week, is used by many people and costs about $350.
‘No wonder some people choose to be pain free but homeless, spending their rent money on medicine they know works for them. I personally know people in this boat and many many pension and unemployment cheques are sunk straight into the blackmarket every week,’ said Mr Balderstone.
‘I personally think it’s scandalous that our arrest and jail rates remain as high or higher than ever despite endless evidence now that the war on drugs has failed and in fact is causing massive social damage.
‘There is living proof now overseas that ending prohibition of cannabis for a start lessens suicides, opiate overdoses, car accidents and so on. But it also lessens pharmaceutical use and therein lies the problem,’ he said.
‘The war on drugs is Big Pharma’s war, make no mistake about it. They maintain it and they profit from it enormously.’
Save the planet?
‘The other issue close to the heart of Legalise Cannabis is the potential of this one plant to help save the planet. We forget it was the most grown and useful plant on the earth until a couple of hundred years ago,’ said Michael Balderstone.
‘It’s healthier for the soil than cotton and in fact any crop as it needs so few chemicals, its seed is a superfood and its fibre unique in strength and length, while its flowers make the safest and most useful medicine in nature.
‘Plus it’s extremely fast growing and ideal for sequestering carbon,’ he said.
‘Most important of all, it’s consciousness changing, eye opening, enlightening, it can wake people up to the truth which is exactly what we need! And why it was called Gods Gift for millennia in the East.’
The Provisional Legalise Cannabis Senate Candidates are:
- NSW – Michael Balderstone & Gail Hester
- Queensland – Bernie Bradley & Suzette Luyken
- South Australia – Tyler Green & Angela Adams
- Tasmania – Matt Owen & Luke Williams
- Victoria – TBC
- Western Australia – Nicola Johnson & Aaron Peet
- ACT – Andrew Katelaris & Michelle Stanvic
- NT – Kelly-Anne Hibbert & Lance Lawrence
Find out more at: https://legalise.org.au/