I am a journalist for 4ZZZ in Brisbane and 2BayFM in Byron Bay and a cannabis historian who has written many books about cannabis, including Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp and Marijuana Australiana and I am standing for the HEMP Party for the Senate in Queensland.

The HEMP Party is committed to ending the war on cannabis, which is undoubtedly the most useful plant on the planet. It treats a myriad of illnesses and is a valuable source of fibre, food and fuel.

Cannabis is an extraordinary medicine that was safely used by our ancestors for centuries. As an historian, I have documented how cannabis was one of the most important medicines in Australia before it was banned. Today 90% of the Australian public want cannabis to be legally available as a medicine, but Australian governments have legislated a fake version of medical cannabis legalisation that enriches their corporate mates, and forces most of the medical cannabis community to the black market

True cannabis legalisation can only exist when it becomes legal to grow our own!

The HEMP Party is committed to ending the war on cannabis users. Australian governments spend three billion dollars enforcing the drug laws and most of this is spent in the war on cannabis with close to 100,000 cannabis offences prosecuted each year.

Prohibition does not work.  All drug law enforcement does is to proportionally increase the price of illicit drugs, so prohibition acts as a multiplier for the black market: every dollar spent on drug law enforcement is worth $10 to the black market. Prohibition has created a $30 billion black market in illicit drugs.

 Roadside drug testing has become the latest way of persecuting cannabis users. Drug driving testing should be about impairment; instead it has become a law against the internal possession of cannabis, unfairly punishing people who might have used cannabis over a week ago. These laws need to be amended so they include a dose value based on impairment, similar to alcohol laws.

Separate cannabis the plant from the other illegal drugs. Regulate and tax it.

Dr John Jiggens HEMP candidate, Queensland

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