The HEMP Party is delighted with its first run in a federal election. In the Senate in Queensland Nigel Freemarijuana polled 1.28%, with over 25 000 votes, while in NSW Michael Balderstone attracted over 30 000 votes with 0.89%.
In the House of Representatives our three candidates effectively used the platform of election time to raise awareness about cannabis law reform. We attracted a significant vote, with 1.67% in Page, 1.32% in Richmond and 1.28% in Ryan. After our successful by-election campaigns this year in Ryan and Aston, we will continue to contest lower house seats and by-elections in particular.
Our senate vote was very solid. In Queensland, HEMP came seventh and was only beaten by the “big six” parties who have sitting senators in parliament. In NSW it was eighth out of twenty three groups, beating a wide range of minor and single issue parties. The HEMP Party would like to run candidates in the senate in every state in Australia at the next election. We want every Australian to be aware of the opportunity, taken by 60 000 voters on Saturday, to send a clear message that cannabis must be re-legalised.
From now on every federal senate election will be a referendum on cannabis law reform. We aim to become the seventh party in Australian elections and attract 1-2% of the vote nationally. Hopefully this will finally stir the parties into action on this vital social issue.
The HEMP Party expects John Howard will continue with his narrow-minded approach, keeping millions of Australians criminals, and exposing youth to other drugs when they purchase black market cannabis. We predict he will go shoulder to shoulder with President Bush in a new crackdown on drugs. This means the continued Americanisation of Australian Drug Policy, rather than developing an independent and realistic response for our own drug issues.
How much damage he is allowed to inflict on Australian society depends on how rapidly more Australians realise political opportunities like this for their capacity to bring about reform?
“Howards ignorance regarding drugs is extremely dangerous – It’s all one war to him. It’s 2001 and we’re led by a 1950s man! ”
“If 1% of the voters put this as their primary issue, I’d like the government to spend 1% of its time educating itself about cannabis. That’s 3 days per year, enough time to find out what’s truly going on (a Cannabis Summit perhaps!!!), they would be forced, as a matter of conscious, to change the laws”, said Michael Balderstone, HEMP Party President.
Further inquiries; Nimbin HEMP Embassy 02 6689 1842, 890 326 A/H: 02 6689 7525