Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
|Leader||Maki Herbert & Michael Appleby|
|President||Mike Britnell|
|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.
Party history and policies
Cannabis in New Zealand
Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in New Zealand. Its use today is regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, with classes it as either a Class B drug ("Very high risk of harm") or a Class C drug ("moderate risk of harm"), depending on the product or substance. From December 2018, the Misuse of Drugs act was amended allowing for much broader use of medical marijuana, making the drug available to terminally ill patients in the last 12 months of life. Also in December 2018, the Government announced a non-binding referendum on cannabis for personal use, to be held as part of the 2020 general election.
Party actions and policies
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was founded in 1996, in 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.
The ALCP has contested all eight general elections held 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.
Members' success outside of ALCP
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 as of 2020 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 has nominated candidates for electorate seats in each election. No ALCP candidate has ever won a seat.
The 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 the ALCP has not received more than 1% of the party vote in any election.
|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
- "Register of political parties | Elections". elections.nz. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
- Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy (2007). National Drug Policy 2007–2012 (PDF). Wellington: Ministry of Health. ISBN 978-0-478-30751-1. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Roy, Eleanor Ainge (11 December 2018). "New Zealand passes laws to make medical marijuana widely available". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Binding referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use to be held at 2020 election". Radio New Zealand. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "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.
- "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.
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