|Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party|
|Headquarters||Nimbin, New South Wales|
|House of Representatives|
|Politics of Australia
The group was founded in 1993 by Nigel Quinlan, who ran as a candidate under the name Nigel Freemarijuana. In 2001, Freemarijuana's name was assessed by the Australian Electoral Commission as to whether it was suitable to be added to the electoral roll – the Commission found that it was, meaning Freemarijuana could run as an electoral candidate under the name.
HEMP is based in Nimbin, New South Wales, the centre of Australia's cannabis culture. HEMP has unsuccessfully stood candidates in several federal and state elections, but has struggled to maintain the membership and regulatory requirements for party registration in Australia.
In 2007, prior to the 2007 federal election, HEMP was de-registered as a political party by the Australian Electoral Commission after a random audit of its membership. The group re-applied for party registration in February 2010, but according to HEMP secretary Graham Askey, delays in processing their application meant that registration did not proceed in time before the 2010 federal election was called. It was formally registered on 23 September 2010.
The party received a nationwide Senate vote of 0.71 percent at the 2013 federal election. Historically the party's best result was at the 1994 Elizabeth by-election in South Australia with a 5.37 percent primary vote.
In October 2014 the party made known its support of the anti-vaccination movement. Even going so far as to encourage their followers on social media to choose between marijuana and vaccination for their children. When questioned regarding the spurious ethics involved in such a practice, the party further went on to show they believe that support for vaccination is mutually exclusive of critical thinking regarding the current government. They have since removed several open dialogues from their Facebook page, in which several members of their community spoke back against this gradual shift away from core party views, and several more in response calling into question the false dichotomy they presented. They have refused to comment further on issue, though the party continues to share anti-vaccination sentiments and "information" via social media.
- Freemarijuana and Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland, Australian Electoral Commission, 21 September 2001.
- Hemp party seeks more support, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 19 January 2005.
- HEMP Party election hopes go up in smoke, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2007.
- HEMP campaign stubbed out, ABC North Coast NSW, 19 July 2010.
- "Registration of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party". Australian Electoral Commission. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland: ABC 5 September 2013
- Alliance of micro parties boosts odds for likes of One Nation or Shooters and Fishers gaining Senate spot through preferences: Daily Telegraph 5 September 2013
- Australian HEMP Party Facebook page
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