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The times they are changing - an update on what we have achieved

John Lennon once asked us:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?

Well, quite a bit as it happens.

It seems amazing that it’s only just over a year since the Legalise Cannabis Party name was registered.

In that time, we’ve got MPs in WA, Victoria and NSW and introduced our Bill to legalise six plants and 50g of leaf for personal possession.

After years of frustration, this finally feels like an idea whose time has come. We’re quickly becoming an unstoppable force.

In the final sitting week of the year, I introduced our Bill to NSW Parliament and expect to send it off for an inquiry next year so that it then becomes part of the Government’s Drug Summit.

We have secured a commitment from the Government that they will create their own Bill – if the Drug Summit recommends our modest reform – and they will take it to the election.

Start planning for your first legal high sooner rather than later.

We had a major win in October when we secured agreement from Attorney-General Michael Daley to decriminalise personal quantities of all drugs – and doubling the definition of cannabis from 15g to 30g.

This means that people caught with small quantities of drugs will have the option to access health education on their drug use, instead of a fine and criminal conviction.

This is a major step for our core value – to see drug use as a health issue, and not as a crime.

On the vexed issue of random drug testing and medicinal cannabis patients, we have also made great progress.

In recent meetings with Premier Chris Minns and Health Minister Ryan Park, they have both indicated that they want to fix this issue and give medicinal cannabis patients a defence – as long as they are not impaired.

Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty has agreed to our proposal to form the first ever Hemp Industry Taskforce.

This is great news for regional communities, Australian manufacturing and carbon capture.

Hemp is an extraordinary plant with hundreds of uses including food, construction, medicine,
clothes and more. This could be a multi-billion industry given the right support.

Although cannabis legalisation has been our core focus, we are also in the fortunate position of holding the balance of power in the NSW Upper House.

This gives us a powerful voice on other issues that we believe are important to you – like powerful action on climate change, banning coal seam gas in the Pilliga, supporting victims of institutional sexual abuse, supporting the work of ICAC to root out corruption and highlighting important work to prevent suicide.

None of this would be possible without your support.

Give yourselves a pat on the back, roll yourselves a number, sit on the back veranda as the sunsets and contemplate the miracle of being alive.

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