big Cannabis support

The support that money does not buy

“Australians know what they want and they don’t need $100 million to tell them,”

Said the man on the ABC Insiders election roundup the next day, commenting that the Legalise Cannabis Party got more votes than Clive Palmer in Queensland despite him spending $100 million on his federal campaign.

That was the beginning of Legalise Cannabis getting plenty of media attention all week. Many wanted to know how much we spent compared to Clive. But the fact that a Legalise candidate might pinch Pauline’s seat got everybody excited.

Low budget thriller

We spent about twenty thousand on the campaign and Bernie put in about half of that. It cost another thirty to register the candidates in every state and territory.

We always loved the idea that any Cannabis lover anywhere in Oz, no matter how vulnerable in their community, because of their love of ‘weed’ could vote for us safely in the anonymity of the polling booth.

So a huge thank you to the around half a million registered voters who wrote ‘1’ in the Legalise Cannabis box on the Senate’s long white paper. All our six above the line votes are a strong indication of the support for the cause. The aim was to send a message to the government on how important the issue is for so many people, and I think we have.

Unknown support

The ‘suits’ have no real idea of how many Cannabis users there are. Most people of course keep their illegal activities very private, but in the privacy of the cardboard voting booth no one else knows where your pencil marked number 1.

Bernie Bradley nominated to be a candidate a couple of months ago and has made a huge impact. His passion for change comes from what he sees every day in court, as a lawyer.

Defending people, keeping them out of jail for growing their own medicine because the legal prices are prohibitive. Trying to help people keep their licence because their saliva had the presence of THC in it, nothing to do with being impaired.

Driving home the main points

Being allowed to grow our own, and allowed to drive, were the two prime issues I think. All the other candidates across the country were stoners. But Bernie came in from another angle like a breathe of fresh air.

Could Bernie still pinch Pauline’s seat? Counting and allocating preferences will likely take weeks more. But the Party got great votes in every state and enough to crack the magic 4% in likely 3 spots. Lance Lawrence in the NT, Bernie in Queensland, and Nigel Quinlan in the seat of Longman, the only House of Reps seat we competed in.

If all of them remain at over 4% of the primary vote we will receive generous funding from the Electoral Commission. Enough to run a much bigger campaign in 3 years if Albo hasn’t made some significant changes for Cannabis users.

Thanks to all our candidates for their effort and a huge thanks to our grass roots volunteers for the enthusiastic support.

Michael Balderstone.

PS. Our attention is now focused on registering the Party for the Victorian state election in November and the campaign for NSW next March.

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The Project

How Clive Palmer’s next meeting with his financial adviser might go | 7.30

Andrew Bolt – Medical cannabis driving laws are a ‘big problem’: Bladerstone

Increasing voter support to decriminalise cannabis | 9 News Australia

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