Legalise Cannabis Australia is gearing up for the federal election likely next month with plans to run candidates for the Senate and lower house.

Aiming for victory: Legalise Cannabis Australia president Michael Balderstone

President Michael Balderstone said the number of candidates the party finally runs will depend on how much money it can raise.

He added: “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.”

Balderstone said the main issues behind the party’s passion for change are the nation’s unfair drug-driving laws, the ban on home-grown cannabis and the environmental benefits of the plant.

He added: “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.”

“The other bugbear for cannabis users is not being allowed to grow our own medicine. Everyday Australians could so easily grow their own plants instead of pouring millions of dollars every week into the black market.” 

Balderstone said another issue close to the party’s heart is the potential of the plant to help save the planet.

NSW Senate candidate Gail Hester

“We forget it was the most grown and useful plant on earth until a couple of hundred years ago,” he said. “It’s healthier for the soil than cotton as it needs so few chemicals, its seed is a superfood and its fibre unique in strength and length… Plus it’s extremely fast growing and ideal for sequestering carbon.”

The provisional Senate candidates are Michael Balderstone, Gail Hester (NSW), Bernie Bradley, Suzette Luyken (Queensland), Tyler Green, Angela Adams (South Australia), Matt Owen, Luke Williams (Tasmania), Nicola Johnson, Aaron Peet (WA), Andrew Katelaris, Michelle Stanvic (ACT) and Kelly-Anne Hibbert, Lance Lawrence (NT). Victoria’s Senate candidates are yet to be confirmed.

The party is looking for volunteers to help during the election and to donate to the campaign to help it run more candidates. Visit legalise.org.au for more information, or join the Facebook group.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...