Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

Last updated

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
LeaderJeff Lye
PresidentFred Macdonald
DeputyMaki Herbert
Founded1996 (1996)
Headquarters66 David St, Dunedin
Ideology Cannabis legalisation
ColoursGreen, Black, White
MPs in the House of Representatives 0

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP), also known as the Cannabis Party, [1] is a political party in New Zealand. It is dedicated to removing or reducing restrictions on the use of cannabis and similar substances.

A political party is an organized group of people who have the same ideology, or who otherwise have the same political positions, and who field candidates for elections, in an attempt to get them elected and thereby implement the party's agenda.

Cannabis (drug) A psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes

Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract.


Under New Zealand's Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, cannabis is currently classed (depending on product/substance) as either a Class B drug ("Very high risk of harm") or a Class C drug ("moderate risk of harm").

Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is a New Zealand drug control law that classifies drugs into three classes, or schedules, based on their projected risk of serious harm. In December 2018 it was amended to permit terminally ill patients to use marijuana without risk of prosecution.

Party history and policies

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was founded in 1996, Dunedin. Michael Appleby led the party from 1996 until standing down in 2013. Jeff Lye is the current leader of the ALCP after being elected to replace previous leader Alistair Gregory at the party's 2017 general meeting. It has contested every general election since its founding, as well as all twelve by-elections. The party has never won representation in Parliament.

Dunedin City in Otago, New Zealand

Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago region. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Michael Appleby (politician) New Zealand politician

Michael Appleby is a politician, cannabis activist, LGBT rights activist, and lawyer based in Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.

The Cannabis Party's policies all relate to cannabis, hemp, or drug education. [2] These include legalising possession, growing and use of cannabis for those over 18, creating a 'medpot' card, taxing companies involved in the cannabis industry, removing the need for a licence to grow hemp, and funding drug education and research.

In 2008, the party invited Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope to join the Cannabis Party, but he declined, saying, "Their judgement has obviously been impaired by their recreational habits". [3]

David Benson-Pope New Zealand politician

David Henry Benson-Pope is a New Zealand Labour Party politician who sat in the New Zealand Parliament from 1999 to 2008. He formerly served as a cabinet minister and in 2013 was elected to the Dunedin City Council.

Two Cannabis Party candidates went on to become Members of Parliament for the Green Party. Nándor Tánczos and Metiria Turei were both ALCP candidates in 1996; Tánczos became a Green MP in 1999 and Turei became a Green MP in 2002. Another candidate in 1996, Tim Shadbolt, became the mayor of Invercargill from 1998 and still holds the role. Shadbolt had previously been mayor of Invercargill from 1993 to 1995, and mayor of Waitemata from 1983 to 1989.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a left-wing political party in New Zealand. Like many Green parties around the world it has four organisational pillars: ecology, social responsibility, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. It also accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand and recognises Māori as Tangata Whenua.

Nándor Tánczos New Zealand politician

Nándor Steven Tánczos is an English-born New Zealand social ecologist, researcher, educator, activist and political commentator. He is currently a councillor in the Whakatāne District and Chair of Permaculture in New Zealand. He is also co-director of He Puna Manawa social and political change agency.

Metiria Turei New Zealand politician

Metiria Leanne Agnes Stanton Turei is a former New Zealand politician. She was a Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2017 and the female co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from 2009 to 2017. Turei resigned from the co-leader position on 9 August 2017 amid a political controversy arising from her admission to lying to the Ministry of Social Development to receive higher payments when she was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit and later, to being enrolled to vote in an electorate where she was not eligible when she was 23.

Electoral results

General elections

General Election# of candidates nominated# of seats won# of party votes% of party vote
1996 419034,3981.66%
1999 1117022,687Decrease2.svg 1.10%
2002 712012,987Decrease2.svg 0.64%
2005 61305,748Decrease2.svg 0.25%
2008 82009,515Increase2.svg 0.41%
2011 1728011,738Increase2.svg 0.52%
2014 1013010,961Decrease2.svg 0.46%
2017 61408,075Decrease2.svg 0.31%

The Cannabis Party has nominated candidates for electorate seats in each election. No ALCP candidate has ever won a seat.

The best general election result was in first election in 1996 where it won 1.66% of the party vote. It won 1.10% of the party vote in 1999, but since then the ALCP has not received more than 1% of the party vote in any election.

In the 2017 election, the party ran six electoral candidates and eight list candidates, [4] but gained just 0.3% of the party vote (8,075). [5]


By-electionYearCandidate# votes% of votePlacingResult
Taranaki-King Country 1998 Michael Appleby 3931.94%8th National hold
Te Tai Hauauru 2004 Dun Mihaka 1972.52%2nd Māori gain
Mount Albert 2009 Dakta Green 920.44%6th Labour hold
Mana 2010Julian Crawford1120.48%6th Labour hold
Botany 2011Leo Biggs610.40%6th National hold
Te Tai Tokerau 2011Maki Herbert1351.10%4th Mana gain
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 2013Michael Appleby1761.57%5th Labour hold
Christchurch East 2013Paula Lambert590.43%6th Labour hold
Northland 2015Maki Herbert940.32%5th NZ First gain
Mount Roskill 2016Brandon Stronge840.48%5th Labour hold
Mount Albert 2017Abe Gray970.71%7th Labour hold
Northcote 2018Jeff Lye890.42%6th National hold

The Cannabis Party has also contested all by-elections held since its founding. Its most successful result was in the 2004 Te Tai Hauauru by-election. Only the Māori Party, the ALCP, and independents contested this by-election. The ALCP candidate, Dun Mihaka, finished second behind Māori Party leader Tariana Turia, receiving 197 votes (2.52%) to Turia's 7,256 (92.74%).

See also

Related Research Articles

Tariana Turia New Zealand politician

Dame Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result. She resigned from parliament, and successfully contested a by-election in her former electorate as a candidate of the newly formed Māori Party. She retired from Parliament in 2014.

2004 Te Tai Hauauru by-election New Zealand by-election

The Te Tai Hauauru by-election was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Te Tai Hauāuru, one of the Māori seats. The date set for the by-election was 10 July 2004. It saw the re-election of Tariana Turia, a former MP for the Labour Party and now co-leader of the Māori Party.

Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka or Dun Mihaka is a Māori activist, author, and political candidate in New Zealand.

Judith Anne Turner is a New Zealand politician who was the deputy leader of United Future New Zealand. She was a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008 as a list MP.

Tim Shadbolt New Zealand politician

Sir Timothy Richard Shadbolt is a New Zealand politician. He is the Mayor of Invercargill and was previously Mayor of Waitemata City.

Candidates in the 2008 New Zealand general election by electorate

Seventy of the one hundred and twenty members of the New Zealand House of Representatives elected in New Zealand's 2008 general election will be from single member constituencies, an increase of one electorate seat from 2005. The initial composition of the 2005 Parliament gave the Labour and National parties each 31 constituencies, the Māori Party four and ACT, United Future and the Progressive Party one each.


Ikaroa-Rāwhiti is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate. It was formed for the 1999 election and held by Parekura Horomia of the Labour Party until his death in 2013. A by-election to replace him was held on 29 June 2013 and was won by Labour's Meka Whaitiri, who remains the incumbent after the 2014 election.

Te Tai Hauāuru

Te Tai Hauāuru is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives, that was first formed for the 1996 election. The electorate was represented by Tariana Turia from 2002 to 2014, first for the Labour Party and then for the Māori Party. Turia retired and was succeeded in 2014 by Labour's Adrian Rurawhe who again retained the seat in 2017.

Cannabis political parties Political parties advocating cannabis legalization

Cannabis political parties are generally single-issue parties that exist to oppose the laws against cannabis.

David Clendon New Zealand politician

David James Clendon is a New Zealand politician and member of the Green Party. Following the resignation of Sue Bradford, Clendon became a member of the House of Representatives on 2 November 2009.

Party lists in the 2011 New Zealand general election

This page provides the party lists for New Zealand's 2011 general election. Party lists determine the appointment of list MPs under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation electoral system. The Electoral Commission issued a deadline of noon on 1 November for submitting party lists.

Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), formerly the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, is a United Kingdom lobby group which campaigns to end the prohibition of cannabis. The group was founded in 1997 and reformed as CLEAR in 2011. It campaigned in a number of elections until it was statutorily de-registered by the Electoral Commission in November 2013.

2013 Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election New Zealand by-election

A by-election was held in the New Zealand electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti on 29 June 2013. The seat was vacated by the death of incumbent member of parliament Parekura Horomia two months earlier, who had represented the electorate for the Labour Party since its inception for the 1999 election. The election was won by Labour's Meka Whaitiri.

Party lists in the 2014 New Zealand general election

The 2014 New Zealand general election, which was held on 20 September 2014, saw the election of 121 candidates — 71 from electorates, 1 overhang, and the remaining 49 from ranked party lists. This page lists candidates by party, including their ranking by party list where applicable.

Whakamana Cannabis Museum

Whakamana Cannabis Museum of Aotearoa is New Zealand's first museum dedicated to the history of cannabis use and culture. It was opened in October 2013.

Party lists in the 2017 New Zealand general election

The 2017 New Zealand general election was held on Saturday, 23 September 2017, to determine the membership of the 52nd New Zealand Parliament. Parliament has 120 seats, and 71 were filled by electorate MPs, with the remaining 49 from ranked party lists. Writ day, i.e. the day when the Governor-General issues a formal direction to the Electoral Commission to hold the election, was set for Wednesday, 23 August 2017. As stipulated in section 127 of the Electoral Act 1993, the writ will set a date by which registered parties must submit a "list of candidates for election to the seats reserved for those members of Parliament elected from lists". Party lists must have been submitted by Monday, 28 August, at noon. On Wednesday, 30 August, the Electoral Commission released details of candidates for election, party lists, and the polling places. This page lists candidates by party, including their ranking on a list.


  1. "Change of party name and registration of a substitute logo – Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  2. "Cannabis Party Policy" . Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. Mackenzie, Dene (12 June 2008). "Party makes MP offer he can refuse". Otago Daily Times . Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  4. "Information for voters - the who, when, and where". New Zealand Electoral Commission . Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  5. "2017 General Election - Official Result". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.