Legalise_Cannabis_Alliance

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) is a pressure group based in the United Kingdom campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis for all purposes, including medicinal and recreational drug use. It was formed in Norwich in 1992 with name Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International. From 1999 to 2006, with the name Legalise Cannabis Alliance, it was a registered political party, with Alun Buffry as its leader, fielding candidates in elections to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and to local government councils.

The party used a cannabis leaf image as its emblem, and Cannabis : legalise and utilise (ISBN 0-9535693-1-4) served as its election manifesto. The manifesto takes at face value Jack Herer's claims in The Emperor Wears No Clothes, 1994, (ISBN 0-9524560-0-1), about the potential of cannabis as a source of renewable fuel.

History

The party was registered in March 1999, after Howard Marks had stood as a legalise cannabis candidate in four different constituencies in the 1997 general election: Norwich North, Norwich South, Southampton Test and Neath. In the same general election Buster Nolan described himself as the New Millennium, New Way, Legalise Cannabis candidate in the Braintree constituency.

The first official LCA candidate in a parliamentary election was Colin Paisley in the November 1999 byelection in Kensington and Chelsea. He took 141 (0.7%) of the votes. The second was Derrick Large in the May 2000 Romsey byelection, who took 417 (1.1%) of the votes.

In the 2001 general election the party had candidates in 13 constituencies. Their best result was in Workington, where John Peacock took 1040 (2.5%) of the votes.

In January 2004 cannabis prohibition in the UK was relaxed. Cannabis had been a class B substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: it became a class C substance. Many people saw this change as virtual 'decriminalisation'

In the 2005 general election the LCA contested 21 constituencies. This was eight more than in the 2001 general election, but included only six that had been contested in that previous election. In all these six constituencies the LCA suffered a fall in its share of the vote, and the average share across 21 constituencies was well down from that across the previous 13. Their best results were in Orkney and Shetland, Worthing East and Shoreham and Leigh. In Orkney and Shetland, Paul Cruickshank took 1.8% of the votes. Thomas Hampson in Leigh and Chris Baldwin in Worthing East and Shoreham both took 1.5% of the votes.

The party voted to de-register at a conference in Norwich on November 11, 2006, and to continue as a pressure group.

Election results

Election Constituency or constituencies Candidate or candidates Votes Share (%) Change
1999 Kensington and Chelsea byelection Kensington and Chelsea Colin Paisley 141 0.7 N/A
2000 Romsey byelection Romsey Derrick Large 417 1.1 N/A
2001 general election Braintree Michael Nolan 774 1.5 N/A
Calder Valley Philip Lockwood 672 1.4 N/A
Carlisle Colin Paisley 554 1.6 N/A
Chelmsford West Herb Philbin 693 0.9 N/A
East Worthing and Shoreham Chris Baldwin 920 2.1 N/A
Edinburgh South Margaret Hendry 535 1.4 N/A
Hull North Carl Wagner 478 1.7 N/A
Milton Keynes South West Patman Denning 500 1.1 N/A
North East Fife Leslie Von Goetz 420 1.2 N/A
Norwich South Alsie Buffry 620 1.5 N/A
Penrith and the Border Mark Gibson 870 2.0 N/A
Romsey Derrick Large 601 1.2 +0.1
Workington John Peacock 1040 2.5 N/A
2005 general election Canterbury Rocky van de Benderskum 326 0.7 N/A
Carlisle Lezley Gibson 343 1.0 -0.6
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Sid James Whitworth 343 0.7 N/A
Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South Alex Daszak 343 0.6 N/A
Conwy Tim Evans 193 0.6 N/A
East Surrey Winston Matthews 410 0.8 N/A
East Worthing and Shoreham Chris Baldwin 677 1.5 -0.6
Great Yarmouth Michael Skipper 389 0.9 N/A
Hull East Carl Wagner 182 0.6 N/A
Hull North Carl Wagner 179 0.6 -1.1
Leigh Thomas Hampson 415 1.5 N/A
Neath Pat Tabram 334 0.9 N/A
Norwich South Don Barnard 219 0.5 -1.0
Orkney and Shetland Paul Cruickshank 311 1.8 N/A
Penrith and the Border Mark Gibson 549 1.2 -0.8
South Dorset Vic Hamilton 282 0.6 N/A
Swansea West Steve Pank 218 0.7 N/A
Vale of Clwyd Jeff Ditchfield 286 0.9 N/A
Workington John Peacock 381 1.0 -1.5
Worthing West Chris Baldwin 550 1.2 N/A
Ynys Mon Tim Evans 232 0.7 N/A

Top Gear appearance

In 2002/3 the legalise cannabis campaigners raised awareness by simulating fake election on Top Gear where the new prime minister was to be decided by a race around a track, the candidate came second out of 6 and behind the Liberal Democrats

See also

Notes and references

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