To support us go to: https://legalisecannabisqld.com/ and hit the join button.
I am Dr John Jiggens and I am writing to announce that I will be a candidate for the seat of South Brisbane in the Queensland state election at the end of October for Legalise Cannabis Queensland and to urge you to register your support for Legalise Cannabis Queensland. We will be running candidates in several seats in the election. We hope to register a party but we need to get 500 eligible members. You need to be eligible to vote (over 18 and registered to vote in Queensland). We will still run under the Legalise Cannabis Queensland banner even if we don’t get the 500 members, but we won’t have the party name on the ballot paper, which is a considerable advantage.
I am a writer, journalist and former academic, who was one of the founders of HEMP in Queensland. I have written several books on the origins of the cannabis laws. The first of these was the Australian version of the classic text, The emperor wears no clothes, which was written in collaboration with Jack Herer, and was called Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy. Subsequently, I helped organise Jack Herer’s tour of Australia in 1995, which was a powerful fillip for the hemping of Australia.
I like to impress people by telling them I have a PhD in cannabis! My PhD was a history of the origin of cannabis prohibition in Australia called Marijuana Australiana: Cannabis Use, Popular Culture, and the Americanisation of drug policy in Australia, 1938-1988. It has been downloaded 20,754 times, so it is probably the most downloaded PhD in Queensland! Three books derive from it: Marijuana Australiana, The killer cop and the murder of Donald Mackay and The man who knew too much; the last two explore the origins of the Drug Joke, the system whereby ex-detectives, serving detectives, the Nugan Hand bank, the Calabrian Honoured Society and the Hungarian Mafia came to dominate the cannabis industry in Australia. My most recent book, Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp: Hemp, sea-power and empire, 1776-1815, looks at the role that hemp played in the decision to colonise Australia. These can be purchased from my website drjiggens.com, where you can also read my blog and my academic articles.
It is really important that we push hard for cannabis legalisation at this time, and we need to form state parties for this purpose because it is the states that play the major legislative role in the formation of drug laws. New Zealand goes to the polls on Saturday 19 September 2020 for a non-binding referendum on the question of whether to legalise the sale, use, possession and production of cannabis. If successful, this will have an enormous effect on Australia. I interviewed Chris Fowlie, President of NZ NORML, who thinks New Zealand will establish a model for the rest of the world. If you are over 20, you will be able to grow your own. Although you will be limited to 2 plants per person and 4 per household (same as the ACT) you will be able to go to a shop and buy cannabis, and New Zealand are trying to avoid the over-corporatised model that Australia is following. Says Chris Fowlie:
“Those shops will be licenced in a similar way to alcohol type licencing. The places where you can use it will be controlled in a similar way to tobacco in that you have smoking and non-smoking areas , but the way they are giving out these licences, that’s the really interesting bit ; they’ve made social equity a central part of it and they’re dividing up the total market share that’s sold in shops on social equity principles and so if you are just in it for the money you are not going to get a licence – you have to partner with community organisations, you have to do good in your community, and then you’ll get one. You need to be the best to win the licence because it is a quota system so it creates an incentive for everyone to be the best operator, not cause any problems, do all these socially good things, return their profits to the local community , partner with local organisations to create local jobs and that’s what is going to get you the licence.”
Let me conclude by urging you to support us go to: https://legalisecannabisqld.com/ and hit the join button.
We are still setting up the site, so do not donate yet. In the next week we will email all who join with a form for those who wish to join the political party. More candidates will be announcing themselves in the coming weeks.
Cheers, Dr John Jiggens
PS: (Of course, as the Black Lives Matter protests show, there is more than just the cannabis laws that are wrong with the Queensland justice system. If you want more information on how to reform the disaster that is the justice system in Queensland, this is a link to a podcast I did with Keith Hamburger, a former head of Corrective Services in Queensland: https://soundcloud.com/ian-curr/restorative-justice-in-the-qld-prison-system)