Australian Legalize Cannabis Party Runs Successful Grassroots Election Campaign

Australian Legalize Cannabis Party Runs Successful Grassroots Election Campaign
High Times

The Legalize Cannabis Party, formerly known as the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (or HEMP) Party showed surprisingly strong results in the Australian Senate election this week. While it narrowly missed gaining a Senate seat in Queensland where it performed the best (and there are the most patients), the single-issue group clearly made gains and added to their success last year when they picked up two upper House seats in the Western Australian election. The Legalize Cannabis Party advocates for “positive policy reform relating to cannabis for both health and personal users.” It has been organizing for reform since the late 1990s. They also know how to run a savvy grassroots campaign—which clearly paid off for them this year. But does this success at the polls—even if a narrow miss at elected office in the Senate—mean that Australia is ready to legalize cannabis during the term of Anthony Albanese, the country’s 31st prime minister? Some people are not so sure—pointing out that despite the dramatic increase in support in just six years that has led to a slight majority of Australians who want to legalize cannabis, there are other factors at play. In 2019, despite a slight pro-cannabis edge in national polling, 78% of respondents also said they would not use the drug even if it was legal. A similar scenario played out in the 2020 national election in New Zealand when cannabis reform was also on the ballot as a referendum. It was narrowly defeated. Reform In Steps It is easy to forget, particularly when you work inside the industry, that so much of what this vertical is about is still foreign to those outside it. Despite larger and larger numbers of the “cannacurious,” the tide has not quite clicked over in even the United States or Germany—perhaps the two…

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