Cannabis Party Won’t Stand Aside For Greens
Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald’s request to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party to stand aside and endorse the Greens at the election has been rejected by ALCP Leader Michael Appleby.
Speaking as a guest at the ALCP national conference in Wellington last weekend Donald said the Green Party had a progressive and well thought out cannabis policy which was focussed on harm minimisation.
As the Greens held a much better chance of making it to Parliament the ALCP should step aside and encourage their voters to instead vote Green, he said.
However Appleby said today while his party might be prepared to stand aside in one or two seats, the ALCP would continue to contest the election, particularly for the party vote.
“If the ALCP want to see cannabis decriminalised then it is clearly not in their best interests to contest this election,” said Mr Donald. “In the last Colmar Brunton Poll the ALCP received zero per cent and are extremely unlikely to make it to Parliament.
“We were hoping that anybody who wants to see cannabis decriminalised in a sensible and responsible fashion would recognise that the Greens are much more likely to be represented in Parliament and would give us their vote.”
Appleby said although his party was polling poorly this was because a lot of party supporters did not have telephones and could not be surveyed. He predicted the ALCP would take support from the range of political parties and would probably hold the balance of power after the election.
Rod Donald said voters should be wary of the ALCP as the party has no policy bases other than legalising cannabis and could potentially support a right-wing government. “With the Green Party at least people will be in no doubt how we will vote in the house,” he said.
Appleby admits that his party has no policies other than those pertaining to cannabis. He said this approach is necessary as supporters of the ALCP come from all the other political parties and consensus on other policy would be extremely difficult.
“Once in Parliament we will basically support any party that promises to change the law relating to cannabis,” he said.
Rod Donald said the Green Party favoured the legalisation of possession and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for the personal use of adults. He stressed it would still be against the law for children to use, possess or grow the drug. The Smokefree Environment Act would apply to cannabis and it would remain a crime to drive or operate machinery after using the drug.