Marijuana Party (Canada)
|Active federal party|
The Marijuana Party (French: Parti Marijuana) is a Canadian federal political party, whose agenda focuses on ending the prohibition of cannabis. Apart from this one issue, the party has no other official policies, meaning party candidates are free to express any views on all other political issues. Passage of the Cannabis Act in June 2018 legalized cannabis on 17 October 2018.
Candidates appear on election ballots under the short form “Radical Marijuana” and their status is similar to that of independent candidates. Although governed by the Canada Elections Act, the Marijuana Party is a “decentralized” party, without by-laws, charter or constitution that govern its operations. Its Electoral District Associations are autonomous units of the party as a whole.
The party was founded by Marc-Boris St-Maurice in February 2000. In the November 2000 federal election, the party nominated candidates in 73 ridings in seven provinces and won 66,419 votes (0.52% of national popular vote).
In January and May 2004, changes were made to Canada’s electoral laws which significantly reduced the fundraising abilities of the Marijuana Party; specifically, the elections law was amended so that most of the Marijuana Party’s political contribution tax credit scheme was criminalized. The result of those changes was a very significant drop in the party’s funding by 95%. As of 2004, parties with more than two per cent of the national vote were eligible to receive $2 per year per individual vote, as well as have the majority of their election expenses refunded. Small parties unable to secure two per cent of the vote do not qualify for any subsidy from votes or for election expenses. In the June 2004 federal election, the party nominated 71 candidates, but won only 33,590 votes (0.25% of the national popular vote).
On February 28, 2005, founder St-Maurice announced his intention to join the Liberal Party in order to work for liberalized marijuana laws from within the governing party. A large number of former Marijuana Party members have joined one of the mainstream political parties (NDP, Liberal, Conservative, or Green) in order to push for reform from within. In 2005, Elections Canada recognized Blair T. Longley as the new party leader following St-Maurice’s resignation.
In the January 2006 federal election, the party ran candidates in 23 ridings and received 9,275 votes (0.06% of the national popular vote). In the Nunavut riding, however, the party’s candidate won 7.88% of all ballots cast and finished in fourth place, ahead of the Greens.
|Election||# of candidates nominated||# of total votes||% of popular vote||% in ridings run in|
In addition to the Bloc Pot party in Quebec, the Marijuana Party has several separate provincial counterparts, most notably, the British Columbia Marijuana Party which received over 3% of the vote in the 2001 provincial election, and the Marijuana Party of Nova Scotia. The Bloc Pot and the federal Marijuana Party work together; however, the BC Marijuana Party and the federal Marijuana Party do not work together as the BC Party Marijuana decided to direct their activism into mainstream political parties.
- Cannabis in Canada
- Drug policy reform
- Legal issues of cannabis
- Marijuana Party candidates, 2006 Canadian federal election
- Marijuana Party candidates, 2008 Canadian federal election
- Marijuana Party of Canada candidates, 2011 Canadian federal election
- Marijuana parties
- “Electoral District Associations”. Marijuana Party. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- “Political Parties”. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- “Parti Marijuana Party Tax Credit Scheme from 2000 to 2003”. Marijuana Party. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- “Marijuana Party founder joins Liberals”. CBC. 28 February 2005.
- “Ex-Marijuana Party Leader Goes To NDP”. The Chief. December 12, 2003. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- http://enr.elections.ca/National.aspx?lang=e Elections Canada 2015 Results
- Official website
- Marijuana Party – Canadian Political Parties and Political Interest Groups – Web Archive created by the University of Toronto Libraries