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Legalise Cannabis Party prepares to run for Parkes

Western Plains App

River McCrossen

09 May 2024, 9:20 PM

Legalise Cannabis Party prepares to run for ParkesFormer Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said his party will oppose coal seam gas projects in the Western Plains. PHOTO: Supplied

NSW Legalise Cannabis Party (LCP) leader Jeremy Buckingham has confirmed his party will run a candidate for the first time in the federal seat of Parkes for the 2025 election.


The member of the NSW Legislative Council said the party will hold preselection within the next three months for their pick to run in the Nationals stronghold, where he says the party has hundreds of members.

 “There are over a million cannabis prescriptions in Australia now and those people are from all walks of life, and that prescription is making a massive difference to their health,” Mr Buckingham said.


“That therapy is making a huge difference to their Parkinson’s, their EMS, their epilepsy, their cancer treatment, their PTSD.


“There’s a lot of broad appeal and we think that’s going to translate to a significant vote at the ballot box.” 


Doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis if they believe it is an appropriate treatment option, however most medicinal cannabis products are unapproved in Australia as they do not appear on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).


It’s for that reason the NSW Health website says “it is expected that prescribers will have considered all clinically appropriate treatment options that are included in the ARTG before applying to access an unregistered cannabis medicine.”


As the name suggests, the party is largely focused on removing legal barriers to medicinal cannabis, although Mr Buckingham said it will also platform against coal seam gas projects in the region.

“We do not think we should be building the Narrabri Gas Project, nor expanding it out towards Liverpool Plains or out west towards Coonamble,” Mr Buckingham said. 


“That’s been an issue for us and an issue we’re going to make a priority as well.”

Outgoing federal Parkes MP Mark Coulton. PHOTO: Supplied 

The party will look to capitalise on the fact Nations member Mark Coulton will not recontest his seat at the next election. [See that story here: Mark Coulton announces retirement ]


“There’s always a bit of a shopping around, as it were, when a popular member goes,” Mr Buckingham said.


“Some of that personal vote will be up for grabs.”


Mr Coulton agreed the LCP could make headway at the election.


"It depends who their candidate is and I think if they can manage to tell their story that they're looking for medicinal cannabis, not just wanting to legalise all cannabis use, there's a very big difference in that," Mr Coulton said.


"If someone's got a genuine need, generally I think that there's not too many issues around people being able to obtain it.


"To represent the people of Parkes in the Australian Parliament, there's a whole range of issues of represent on, and I'm not quite sure how a single-issue party can represent the diversity of people, area and towns that is in the Parkes electorate."