LCA President “Michael Balderstone” AGM Speech Dec 22

LCA President “Michael Balderstone” AGM Speech Dec 22

The hemp party now legalise cannabis party is 30 years old this year and I’d have to say it’s the year the seed finally sprouted. That’s a long time sitting in the dirt waiting to be appreciated! We could always get maybe 2% of the vote without trying, just being on the ballot, and that was enough to have sharks circling the party wanting control of those votes. Not necessarily for legalising weed but as a bargaining chip. We had a takeover bid once and had to drive carloads of hippies to Newcastle and save the party from being a pawn in the Dreary chess game. It’s just business, I was told. We get you elected and you pay us 50 grand. But if you’re not with us we’re against you!

So a special thanks to the party members and people who kept the Party solvent and registered and ethical through three decades. It’s a huge job and been done voluntarily by Heathen James in recent years, taking not days but weeks of his life every year jumping through the electoral commissions hoops for us all. A special thanks from us all for your years of dedication James, and your creativity.

Next i want to thank legalise cannabis qld who have kinda merged with hemp on a federal level i like to think. It would have been crazy to have two parties and we’re very grateful to have your Suzette and Ingrid’s support and patience in the executive. But mostly I am grateful for you giving us your name. Changing our name has made a big difference to our votes I think. People have something meaningful and useful to vote for and not just another politician. Every time the Greens say legalise cannabis we are advertised. Every time anyone says it we are advertised. 

Then along comes Craig. He’s like God’s Gift, the name they used for weed in the East for thousands of years. First he takes on Dreary in the west and out of the blue wins 2 seats in the WA parliament. Then he more than works he slaves obsessed to get the NSW and Victorian state party’s registered, and against all odds succeeds. It is seriously challenging getting 1500 federally, 500 in Victoria and 750 members in NSW conforming to the gubberment that yes i am a member of the legalise cannabis party. Like, yes I am a criminal and here’s my address and phone number. So thanks to all who joined and all who got their friends to join but it was Craig who spent day and night chasing it all up with Sue Raye who also deserves a special mention.

And Gail Hester who possibly sleeps with her computer and has been totally involved in registering all the state parties following the coast from Queensland to WA. A special mention and thanks to you Gail for your fantastic endless work for the Party.

Anyway no one told me Craig is like some sort of maths freak who is banned from all the casinos so he doesn’t send them broke. And he’s done a repeat of what he did in WA and we look like getting 1, 2, or even 3 legalise cannabis people in the Victorian parliament. And with the Greens hold the balance of power the papers are suggesting. WTF. It’s like a dream come true after all these years lying in the dirt with no one noticing us. 

So a huge thank you to Craig who has also helped transition us to a new level of credibility and invincibility, with a new constitution and incorporation.

We are increasing our vote every time there is an election it seems now. As our name gets known. The Federal result in May, with 500,000 primary votes, the first time running as LC not HEMP, gave us a lot of publicity, especially in Qld where Bernie and his support team truly stirred the pot.  We thought we were going to get rich because we cracked the magic 4% but we hadn’t read the small print. 

All eyes are on the NSW Election in March next year now. We clearly have a good relationship with Labor and the Greens and if the RDT laws dont change soon and we are not allowed to grow our own by the next federal election, watch out there too I think.

It’s exciting times on the planet. The war on drugs is hugely underestimated. I believe in its impact on our society, and the environment. It’s the biggest elephant in the room of all. And it’s Big Pharma’s war, make no mistake about it, and the police are working for them. Sooner or later everyone will wake up to how we are being lied too.

 Cannabis, and hemp, I believe is a huge part of our future and the doors are opening fast. Our little political party which people had gathering dust in the cupboard is suddenly in the spotlight. In Victoria we got the most votes of any party after Labor, Liberals and the Greens. The biggest of the minors! And now we are getting people elected to parliament in numbers. Holy smoke.

So a special thanks to Craig, to LC Qld, to James, Gail, Suzette, Ingrid. To Nada for her help with the bookwork. And to Anne Marie from Hemp Edification who must get a special thanks for all her online work. And a big thanks to Dave and Hempy who have been holding down corner pegs of the Party tent.  Dave has been a registered officer for years. The executive has had a big zoom relationship over recent months and I look forward to welcoming Brian and Anna into the group now also.

Finally a big thanks to our members, our supporters, financially especially the HEMP Embassy, and our members who stood as candidates. We are really making a difference I think, which is very rewarding. Let’s hope by this time next year some laws maybe even have changed. ‘Cos the law on cannabis is the real crime.