Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

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Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
Leader Jeff Lye
President Fred Macdonald
Deputy Maki Herbert
Founded 1996 (1996)
Headquarters 66 David St, Dunedin
Ideology Cannabis legalisation
Colours Green, Black, White
MPs in the House of Representatives 0

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP; also known as the Cannabis Party)[1] 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 six by-elections and intends to contest the 2017 election.[2] The party has never won representation in Parliament.

The Cannabis Party's policies all relate to cannabis, hemp, or drug education.[3] 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.

In 2008, the party invited Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope to join the Cannabis Party, but he declined, saying, "Their judgement has obviously been impaired by their recreational habits".[4]

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.

Electoral results

General elections

General Election # of candidates nominated # of seats won # of party votes % of party vote
Electorate List
1996 4 19 0 34,398 1.66%
1999 11 17 0 22,687 Decrease 1.10%
2002 7 12 0 12,987 Decrease 0.64%
2005 6 13 0 5,748 Decrease 0.25%
2008 8 20 0 9,515 Increase 0.41%
2011 17 28 0 11,738 Increase 0.52%
2014 10 13 0 10,961 Decrease 0.46%
2017 6 14 0 8,075 Decrease 0.31%

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[citation needed] campaign for the 2008 general election, with several high profile[citation needed] candidates including Steven Wilkinson (West Coast-Tasman) and Julian Crawford (Dunedin North).[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]


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

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%).

See also


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "Julian Crawford re-elected leader at AGM". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Cannabis Party Policy". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  4. ^ Mackenzie, Dene (12 June 2008). "Party makes MP offer he can refuse". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Candidate for cannabis party". Otago Daily Times. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Information for voters - the who, when, and where". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  7. ^ "2017 General Election - Official Result". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.

External links

  • Official website
  • Facebook page
  • YouTube channel
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