Cannabis Party of Australia Publish Their July Newsletter

Here are their updates

Federal election: Planets aligning for LCA

The federal election could be as little as five months away and LCA are already in pre-election mode in preparation for what could be a booming result for the Party.

Newsletter has been consulting the tea leaves and they’re telling us that Labor will probably send us to the polls in the first two weeks of May next year, or try to slip in a sneaky post-Cup, pre-Christmas election on December 7 and LCA will be ready to go. Campaign positions are being filled as we speak, the Nominations Committee have their hands full vetting candidates and the strategists are eager to kick off the campaign. The lowdown in 60 seconds:

Better: LCA restricted itself to Senate races in 2022, but this time around we’re fielding solid Senate candidates in every state and we hope to field Lower House candidates in more than half of the 151 electorates including a swag of swing seats.

Stronger: The emergence of a nuclear discussion suggests that the Opposition is looking beyond their Teal losses in 2022 to make inroads this time round. “It looks like this election will be fought and won in the outer metropolitan seats and in the regions. That’s fine with us, those are areas where our vote is strong,” National Secretary Craig Ellis said this week.

Faster: The recent by-elections, particularly in Queensland, have demonstrated that momentum is building for the Party and we will be hitting the federal election at speed. With results like Fadden (Suzette Luyken – 7.24%) and Ipswich-West (Melody Lindsay – 14.57%) to build on, our vote can play a significant role in the outcome of a tight race.

Watch this space for election news. You’ll be hearing from Newsletter more often as we get closer to the big day.

Chip into our Federal Election Fighting Fund

Nostrils flaring after Government drags their heels on RDT

It’s on like Donkey Kong in Victoria with LCVIC MPs taking a stand over the latest misstep by the Government on Roadside Drug Testing (RDT).

The Roads Minister in May announced a $5million trial into RDT which will run for 18 months but our MPs are seeing red, pointing out that the trial mimics research that’s already been done and it just kicks the RDT tin down the road past the next election.

The delaying tactics have not gone down well with the Party, and soon after MPs Rachel Payne and David Ettershank abstained from a vote on the Victorian Budget in protest. “We abstained from voting to demonstrate our outrage with a Government that is failing Victorians,” Rachel said. “We are prepared to ramp up our position and vote against bills.”

In the interim, our MPS are calling on the Government to provide an amnesty for medicinal cannabis users until the trial is completed.

Queensland election to kick off voting season

Before the Feds and W.A. face the people, voters will get a chance to have their voice heard in the Sunshine State and our team are looking to build on the stellar results in recent by-elections (Fadden 7.24%, Ipswich-West 14.57%). It’s a tough gig for us up north, as Queensland has no Upper House so we’ll be taking on the major parties seat by seat with some great candidates.

Queenslander Jeff Knipe will be running in the electorate of Hervey Bay taking in Fraser Island and is a typical LCQLD candidate, he has his own medicinal cannabis story to tell and has been a friend to the Party for many years. Work took Jeff to Victoria in 2011 and a couple of run-ins with cancer acquainted him with the benefits of medicinal cannabis from both a physical and mental health perspective. He joined LCVIC in 2022 and worked with Rachel Payne in her successful election that year before retiring and heading to Hervey Bay where he has family and innumerable holiday memories.

“I arrived in February and started my Market campaign to meet and greet the locals and provide the truth and answer questions about this much-maligned herb,” Jeff told Newsletter.

Jeff’s stall visits the Pier Markets Urangan on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and also the alternating Koala Markets and Nikenbah Markets of a Sunday getting to know the people, selling cannabis merchandise and collecting petition signatures.

“A voice is needed in Queensland Parliament to start the conversation and dispel the lies, falsehoods and stigma of the past,” Jeff said.

If you would like to help Jeff in the October election, or the Legalise Cannabis candidate in your own electorate, head to the links below to see how you can help out.

Volunteer here

Donate here

A word from our President

from Michael Balderstone

High everyone! Many thanks to everyone who came to Nimbin’s 32nd MardiGrass this year. The rain made it a bit messy but it was an excellent gathering and so good to have all the Legalise Cannabis MPs together and speaking in the program. Many of their staff came as well and it was almost my dream of a national conference!

This MardiGrass had the lowest police numbers in years. The fact that there are now also thousands of legally prescribed patients coming together they know as well as we do there is no need for the police. I think it’s a relief for them, they know what the real dangers are and it ain’t us.

Many of you are long time members of the HEMP Party and been on board as we ticked along always assured of about 2% at election time, getting a bit of a voice in and at least giving people someone to vote for.

That percentage has likely doubled for the Legalise Cannabis Party, we now have elected Members of Parliament and many more people have heard of us. We are certainly already in a position to be able to have some sway. For that I thank you!

Finally, people are starting to listen and the stigma is falling away. I encourage everyone to make an appointment with your local MP and educate them on your own circumstances, how cannabis helps you and what effect prohibition has had in your life. And talk to them about Roadside Drug Testing (RDT). There are thousands of people not using cannabis because of the saliva testing and thousands now busted with their lives seriously impacted. It’s the priority all our MPs are working on.

Many thanks for maintaining your membership and/or interest in the Legalise Cannabis Party, know you are doing something good for the planet and its people. And every day we are a little bit closer to legalising cannabis!

Michael Balderstone (pictured below) is the President of Legalise Cannabis Australia.

VIC and NSW teams putting runs on the board

Legalise Cannabis has been chalking up wins on both sides of the Murray demonstrating that a minor party can still move mountains with the right people carrying the right message.

Hemp win: The Victorian Government last month made a commitment to streamline the Hemp industry allowing participants an easier path through the red tape. It was a solid result for LCVIC MP Rachel Payne who was on the enquiring Committee and has called on the Government to implement all of the Committee’s recommendations. Among other things hemp will now be classified as a rural industry allowing farmers to process and value add on their own properties. “I also want the government to help establish a hemp cooperative in Victoria to support hemp farmers,” she said.

Pill win: In another win for Legalise Cannabis VIC, following an 18 month trial the Government will make permanent a pill testing service for festival and partygoers. Pills, powders and liquids will be able to be presented for testing to detect for lethal substances or impurities in the products. This is a big win for our two LCVIC MP’s who have been advocating the measure relentlessly as an important harm minimisation step. “We know pill testing saves lives, the experts have told us that,” Rachel Payne said. “This is sensible reform.”

MDMA win: The TGA approved the use of MDMA to treat PTSD and similar trauma in 2023, but a Sydney clinic in NSW has recently become the first to administer an MDMA treatment outside of a clinical trial. The success rate of this cutting edge therapy is running rings around alternative treatments and while this is a major step forward, LCNSW are pushing for some continuing barriers to access to be removed.

High 5 – WA Upper House team locked and loaded

The WA state election is slated for March 8, 2025 and the Party has their Upper House ticket sorted. Top billing of the quintet went to familiar face Dr Brian Walker who has been educating the West Australian Upper House on the benefits of legal cannabis since his election in May 2021. Having practiced medicine in five countries – including two nuclear superpowers, Brian is well placed to continue his advocacy into the next electoral cycle.

Coming in at number two and a strong chance for election is Melissa D’Ath who currently serves as a councillor of Margaret River. Melissa is a keen advocate for the industrial hemp industry and is an active member of her community.

Dr Craig Buchanan comes in at number three with first-hand knowledge of medicinal cannabis use and has been working with Brian Walker in the WA machine looking to progress the Party’s agenda. Taryn Davis (with government experience around sustainable living and natural resource management) and Frances Barns (public policy, improved health services around addiction) round out the formidable ticket. Look out for them towards the end of the year ramping up the message for voters as we close in on election day.

US downschedules cannabis in positive step forward

Sounds boring. But not boring. The US Feds have downscheduled cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III and in doing so have brought it into regulatory line with substances like steroids.

They’ve been lagging behind their state counterparts, half of which have already legalised cannabis use in some form or other. The ‘Schedule I’ indicated that the Government’s position was that cannabis had “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”. Bringing it down to Schedule III and “a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence” indicates that they’re also falling into lock-step with reality.

Still sounds like the Feds over there have a way to go to catch up to the more than 20 states that already collect taxes from the legal product and upon whom the sky has not yet fallen. But at least they’re taking these slow steps in the right direction.

LCNSW introduces bill to close loophole on institutional abuse

Jeremy Buckingham has presented a bill in the NSW Parliament that can put a stop to the overuse of permanent stays as a way for institutions to avoid liability for historical abuse.

A ‘permanent stay’ can be granted by the courts when it’s unlikely that a fair hearing can take place and is a determination of last resort. However, it has become a strategy for defendants such as the Catholic Church to request permanent stays solely on the basis of the length of time having passed and/or death of the alleged perpetrator. When a permanent stay is granted by the court, it halts proceedings and denies the victim adequate compensation. Even worse, the threat of a permanent stay has been employed by defendants as a negotiation tactic, forcing victims into a premature settlement.

The outcome of a November 2023 High Court appeal was that the length of time passed or death of an alleged perpetrator was not sufficient enough cause in themselves to warrant a permanent stay.

The tactic of overuse of permanent stays has been described as a further abuse of victims. Jeremy’s bill will enshrine the decision of the High Court into statute law so that this deplorable loophole can be closed for good.

Legalise Cannabis Party

Newsletter compiled by Nada Sale and Greg Spletter

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