The legalisation of cannabis is one of the issues gaining attention in the upcoming Queensland Election and may influence the outcome, writes Frank Jordan.
KING CANUTE is famous for plonking his throne down on the beach and commanding the tide not to come in. Cannabis is being legalised all over the world and those who attempt to stem this tide are having as much success as King Canute.
Until now, politicians here have successfully resisted this because the major parties have maintained a united front to keep cannabis criminalised. Although many surveys show that a majority of people support legalisation, voters have had nowhere to vent their frustrations.
This all changed on 11 September when the Legalise Cannabis Queensland (LCQ) Party was officially registered. When nominations closed, they had 23 candidates up and ready to go. They range from Townsville through Rockhampton down to Brisbane and the Gold Coast and out to Nanango. The leaders of the LNP and Labor will both be facing LCQ candidates.
And to add extra spice to the mix, there are several high-profile independent pro-cannabis candidates. They are Lanai Carter in Waterford, Dr John Jiggens in South Brisbane and Finn Armstrong-Schmakeit in Bulimba.
The party with the most to fear is Pauline Hanson's One Nation (PHON). Pauline Hanson famously claims that she says what we are thinking. Well, most of us are thinking that cannabis should be legalised. The party with the least to fear is the Greens. They already support legalising and this includes the crucial ability for people to grow their own plants.
How will this new party affect the Election? It’s anyone’s guess what will happen in Townsville. However, the LCQ candidate in Mundingburra is number one on the ballot and carries the aura of the rebel that seems to be compulsory for candidates in the north. Most LCQ candidates are not allocating preferences but these are likely to flow on to the next most cannabis-friendly candidates.
The two seats that the Greens have a chance of winning have pro-cannabis candidates. Independent Dr John Jiggens in South Brisbane and LCQ's Paul Swan in McConnel. However, given the intense rivalry between the Greens and Labor, they will struggle to make an impact. This is particularly so because the Greens policy is already cannabis-friendly.
Seats like Everton may also be ones to watch even though it is held by Tim Mander with a comfortable margin. His opposition to voluntary assisted dying will cost him votes now that Labor has committed to legalising it. His law and order commitment to keep on gaoling cannabis users and waste $3.5 billion to build new gaols to house them will also cost him votes.
There are several seats where PHON previously had a high vote and this is where LCQ may win a seat if preferences go their way. For example, in Pumicestone, PHON received 23 per cent of the primary vote. How many of these will defect to vote for someone who will not only legalise cannabis but also annul any cannabis convictions?
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) who are well known for their “Reefer Madness” style objections to cannabis also stand to lose. Archaeologists have recently found traces of cannabis on a 3,000-year-old Israelite altar. This argues that God had commanded his priests to use cannabis in the temple as recorded in Exodus 30:23. Not to mention that Jesus healed the sick and didn’t lock them up in gaol. With God’s approval, Christians are now free to abandon the ACL and vote for the legalisation of cannabis.
This election is also a moment of truth for the medical profession. For many years, they have been telling us that cannabis has absolutely no medical value. (That’s what a Schedule 9 drug is.) The hundreds of thousands of people who have successfully used black market cannabis for their medical conditions know that this is an outright lie. The pressure is now on for the Australian Medical Association to an issue an official apology to the criminalised generations for their collaboration with the cannabis deniers.
Gaols aren’t full of serial killers, child rapists or bankers. They are filled with the mentally ill, First Nation people, cannabis users and they are fighting back against the government bullies. So, on Election day, sit back and watch the miraculous spectacle of a handful of mostly sick people take on the might of the cannabis prohibition industry. Will David once again triumph over Goliath? And in Queensland, of all places.
Frank Jordan ran as a Queensland Senate candidate for the HEMP Party. He is currently running as a candidate for the LCQ Party in the 2020 Queensland State Election.
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