“The state’s marijuana users want their own representative in parliament now. The Cannabis industry has grown to become twice the size of the wine industry. It’s that big and it’s that important”. –HEMP/SEX Party Senate Candidate, Michael Balderstone.
Michael Balderstone is the lead Marijuana (HEMP) Party candidate on the HEMP/SEX Party joint Senate ticket in Western Australia.
Seeds of Hope and Sanity Walkabout
Mr Balderstone has just finished an epic walkabout from Darwin to Port Hedland planting thousands of ‘seeds of hope and sanity’ along the way.
He described the plight of Aborigines in WA as desperate and said regulating Cannabis in the state would solve many of the problems caused by alcohol and other drugs.
“Aboriginal people in WA are being forced to pay over $100 a gram for Cannabis in the Kimberley and it’s not much better in some southern areas”, he said. “Most of the time it is already mixed with addictive tobacco. So in fact, it’s about $200 a gram or four times the price of gold! Alcohol is so much cheaper by comparison”.
Mr Balderstone said recreational Cannabis expenditure levels made it twice the size of the wine industry in Australia. (Clements, Curtin)
Mr Balderstone said that most of the recreational Cannabis in WA was hydroponically grown by crime gangs. “Nearly 50% of adult West Australians would have used Cannabis at one time or another and 30% will use it alongside alcohol as their social tonic of choice. Domestic violence, street violence and the amount of vomit on the streets will reduce drastically if people used legal, regulated Cannabis rather than alcohol as their recreational drug of choice. The state has a responsibility to regulate and tax the sale recreational Cannabis now as is happening across the USA”.
Mr Balderstone asked why Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam, wasn’t backing the hundreds of thousands of Cannabis users in WA at this election. “He has no policy to legalise recreational Cannabis and is not campaigning on it. The Greens have lost interest in medicinal Cannabis as well and it will be several government terms before WA has the product available on prescription, to sick people in this state.
The Greens in Victoria recently said ‘no’ to giving medicinal Cannabis to sick and dying adults. They said only kids could have it. The Greens only real policy on drugs at this election was to announce a $40 million harm reduction plan that did NOT include regulating recreational Cannabis! “Ending prohibition on Cannabis will minimise harm and not cost $40 million”, Mr Balderstone said. “The state’s Cannabis users want their own representative in parliament now. It’s that big and it’s that important”.
He said he was quite distressed seeing the terrible health conditions that many Aboriginal people were living in on his tour. “In Colorado USA, where marijuana has been legalized we’ve seen ALL drug related charges drop significantly in the first two years. In 2015 they collected $125 million in taxes from the product. Imagine what that sort of money could do to repair Aboriginal communities in WA. We need to redirect existing expenses on prohibition and together with the revenue collected from a regulated Cannabis market, health and education will flourish”.
Michael will be available for interview immediately after the ballot for Senate positions is concluded on Friday 10th June, outside the Australian Electoral Commission offices at Level 13, 200, St Georges Terrace, Perth. The event is set to begin at 12 noon.
Michael Balderstone: 0472 760 236