Legalize Cannabis Australia Party Obtains Record Results In Queensland Elections
The single-issue party is poised to gain its first senate seat in Queensland. Is recreational reform on the cards nationally?
Elections in Australia’s third most populous state, accounting for 22% of its landmass, may indicate which way the tide is running when it comes to legalization Down Under. Legalise Cannabis Australia is now running 7th in a six-seat senate race according to Australia’s ABC News.
According to The Guardian, the party has also done well nationally – picking up between 2 and 7% of the vote in most states.
This year, they have also received a record number of votes.
With 34% of the votes now counted, LCA has so far received 74,972 votes – an increase of 5% of the votes they received in 2019. Regardless of whether they win one of the seats, they will get government funding for exceeding 4% of the votes in Queensland.
Party president Michael Balderstone is a long-time advocate. He has been involved with the party since its founding in the 1990s – in New South Wales.
Pain Relief & Cost of Cannabis Are Pillar of Campaign
One of the main planks of the party is the efficacy of the drug – and the still prohibitive cost of the same for patients. They are advocating for patient home grow.
There have been 130,000 applications for medical cannabis in Queensland. More than double any other state. One of the reasons for this is that this is a popular state for retirees.
And despite the criticism that the increased vote for the party is just a protest vote, one thing is clear. Cannabis legalization is not static in Australia.
Home Grow – The Revolution
As more and more countries recognize the medical efficacy of cannabis, there is a decided trend toward home grow – even as the first step to legalization. This trend is being seen very clearly in Europe right now. Malta and shortly, Luxembourg will allow home grow. Germany is now probably going to include the same in its recreational plans to be announced by this summer.
There is an obvious logic to this. Medical cannabis is still far too expensive for most patients – no matter who pays for it. Allowing home grow will do two things. It will allow patients to offset the costs of their medicine. And it will spare governments the cost of covering it.
Regulating that infrastructure, however, may prove to be tricky. In Canada, where patient collectives created the basis for the legal recreational market, there is a perennial debate about reigning this in because of its impact on recreational sales.
Regardless, the genie is out of the bottle. And that revolution is now clearly global.