Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
|Headquarters||66 David St, Dunedin|
|Colours||Green, Black, White|
|MPs in the House of Representatives||0|
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP; also known as the Cannabis Party) is a political party in New Zealand. It is dedicated to removing or reducing restrictions on the use of cannabis and similar substances.
Under New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, cannabis is currently classed (depending on product / substance) as either a Class B drug (“Very high risk of harm”) or a Class C drug (“moderate risk of harm”).
Party history and policies
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was founded in 1996, Dunedin. Michael Appleby led the party from 1996 until standing down in 2013. Jeff Lye is the current leader of the ALCP after being elected to replace previous leader Alistair Gregory at the party’s 2017 general meeting. It has contested every general election since its founding, as well as all twelve by-elections. The party has never won representation in Parliament.
The Cannabis Party’s policies all relate to cannabis, hemp, or drug education. These include legalising possession, growing and use of cannabis for those over 18, creating a ‘medpot’ card, taxing companies involved in the cannabis industry, removing the need for a licence to grow hemp, and funding drug education and research.
Two Cannabis Party candidates went on to become Members of Parliament for the Green Party. Nándor Tánczos and Metiria Turei were both ALCP candidates in 1996; Tánczos became a Green MP in 1999 and Turei became a Green MP in 2002. Another candidate in 1996, Tim Shadbolt, became the mayor of Invercargill from 1998 and still holds the role. Shadbolt had previously been mayor of Invercargill from 1993 to 1995, and mayor of Waitemata from 1983 to 1989.
|General Election||# of candidates nominated||# of seats won||# of party votes||% of party vote|
The Cannabis Party’s best general election result was in first election in 1996 where it won 1.66% of the party vote. It won 1.10% of the party vote in 1999, but since then has not received more than 1% of the party vote in any election. The Cannabis Party has nominated candidates for electorate seats in each election. No ALCP candidate has ever won a seat. In the last ten years (the 2008-2014 general elections), the most successful ALCP candidate was Emma-Jane Mihaere Kingi, who won 1,005 votes in the Te Tai Tonga electorate (5% of electorate votes cast).
The Cannabis Party mounted an aggressive campaign for the 2008 general election, with several high profile candidates including Steven Wilkinson (West Coast-Tasman) and Julian Crawford (Dunedin North). In the 2011 New Zealand general election, there was a minor resurgence in the ALCP voter share, which rose to 0.52% (11,738 votes in all), making them the 10th most popular party. In the 2014 New Zealand general election, the ALCP’s voter share was 10,961 votes, or 0.46% of votes cast. In the 2017 election, the party ran six electoral candidates and eight list candidates. During the 2017 election, the Cannabis Party gained on 0.1% of the party vote (8,075) and failed to win any seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives.
|By-election||Year||Candidate||# votes||% of vote||Placing||Result|
|Taranaki-King Country||1998||Michael Appleby||393||1.94%||8th||National hold|
|Te Tai Hauauru||2004||Dun Mihaka||197||2.52%||2nd||Māori gain|
|Mount Albert||2009||Dakta Green||92||0.44%||6th||Labour hold|
|Mana||2010||Julian Crawford||112||0.48%||6th||Labour hold|
|Botany||2011||Leo Biggs||61||0.40%||6th||National hold|
|Te Tai Tokerau||2011||Maki Herbert||135||1.10%||4th||Mana gain|
|Ikaroa-Rāwhiti||2013||Michael Appleby||176||1.57%||5th||Labour hold|
|Christchurch East||2013||Paula Lambert||59||0.43%||6th||Labour hold|
|Northland||2015||Maki Herbert||94||0.32%||5th||NZ First gain|
|Mount Roskill||2016||Brandon Stronge||84||0.48%||5th||Labour hold|
|Mount Albert||2017||Abe Gray||97||0.71%||7th||Labour hold|
|Northcote||2018||Jeff Lye||89||0.42%||6th||National hold|
The Cannabis Party has also contested all by-elections held since its founding. Its most successful result was in the 2004 Te Tai Hauauru by-election. Only the Māori Party, the ALCP, and independents contested this by-election. The ALCP candidate, Dun Mihaka, finished second behind Māori Party leader Tariana Turia, receiving 197 votes (2.52%) to Turia’s 7,256 (92.74%).
- Cannabis in New Zealand
- Cannabis political parties
- Drug policy reform
- Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
- New Zealand cannabis referendum
- “Change of party name and registration of a substitute logo – Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party”. New Zealand Electoral Commission. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- “Cannabis Party Policy”. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Mackenzie, Dene (12 June 2008). “Party makes MP offer he can refuse”. Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- “Candidate for cannabis party”. Otago Daily Times. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- “Information for voters – the who, when, and where”. New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
- “2017 General Election – Official Result”. New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.