Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

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Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
LeaderMichael Balderstone
FounderNigel Quinlan
Founded1993; 28 years ago (1993)
HeadquartersNimbin, New South Wales
IdeologyCannabis legalisation
Colours Green
House of Representatives
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0 / 76

The Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party is an Australian political party, they have a number of policies that centre around the re-legalisation of cannabis for personal, medicinal and industrial uses in Australia.

HEMP is based in Nimbin, New South Wales, the centre of Australia's cannabis culture.


The party has been involved in Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[1][2]


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.[3]

Deregistration & Re-registration[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5] It was formally re-registered on 23 September 2010.[6]

State and territory affiliates[edit]

The current HEMP affiliates are the following:

Division Leader Legislative Assembly Legislative Council Status
Legalise Cannabis WA Leo Treasure
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2 / 36
Legalise Cannabis Queensland
0 / 93
None Extra-parliamentary

Electoral results[edit]

HEMP has stood candidates in several federal and state elections, since its formation.[7]

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.

For the 2016 federal election, the (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]

The HEMP Party scored well in the 2019 federal election with over 260,000 votes and 1.8% of the primary senate vote.[9]

Michael Balderstone ran in the 2020 Eden-Monaro by-election and received 2.3% of votes beating out almost every other minor party.[10]

At the 2021 Western Australian state election, the Party's local affiliate, Legalise Cannabis WA, were successful in gaining two seats in the Legislative Council, marking the first parliamentary representation for HEMP or its state affiliate parties.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland: ABC 5 September 2013
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Freemarijuana and Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland, Australian Electoral Commission, 21 September 2001.
  4. ^ HEMP Party election hopes go up in smoke, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2007.
  5. ^ HEMP campaign stubbed out, ABC North Coast NSW, 19 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Registration of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party". Australian Electoral Commission. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  7. ^ Hemp party seeks more support, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 19 January 2005.
  8. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  9. ^ "senate primary vote". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Eden Monaro by-election". Australian Broadcasting Company. 12 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Legislative Council results". 6 April 2021.

External links[edit]