Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

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Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
LeaderMichael Balderstone
FounderNigel Quinlan
Founded1993; 27 years ago (1993)
HeadquartersNimbin, New South Wales
IdeologyCannabis legalisation
Colours Green
House of Representatives
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The Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party is an Australian political party which advocates the legalisation of cannabis.

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4] It was formally registered on 23 September 2010.[5]

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.

The party has been involved in Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[6][7]

For the 2016 federal election, the Marijuana (HEMP) Party fielded two candidates for the senate in New South Wales, but only one each in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. So that the candidates did not end up in the "ungrouped" column, they teamed up with the Australian Sex Party which also fielded a single senate candidate in most states. It also fielded a candidate for the Division of Solomon in the House of Representatives.[8]

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  1. ^ Freemarijuana and Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland, Australian Electoral Commission, 21 September 2001.
  2. ^ Hemp party seeks more support, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 19 January 2005.
  3. ^ HEMP Party election hopes go up in smoke, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2007.
  4. ^ HEMP campaign stubbed out, ABC North Coast NSW, 19 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Registration of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party". Australian Electoral Commission. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  6. ^ Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland: ABC 5 September 2013
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.