In the 1970s J.J. McRoach ran for parliament as candidate for the Australian Marijuana Party. He had an advertising campaign funded by a well-meaning anonymous dealer. His party came fourth in the elections. In 1986 Nick Brash ran for the “Marijuana Party” for the Kiama NSW by-election against ALP heavy-weight Bob “Bobo” Harrison. Then in 1987 Nick Brash ran in the Heathcote NSW by-election with 13 other candidates including the infamous Rex “Buckets” Jackson. This campaign was partly funded by the late John Marsden, solicitor and outspoken civil libertarian. Soon after the Heathcote, the electoral laws were changed requiring all political parties to prove a membership of 500 enrolled voters, an impossible task for the Marijuana Party. The independent HEMP Legalise Marijuana party continues to run in the upper house in South Australian legislative elections, with their best result being in 1997 when they received 1.7% of the vote, beating relatively popular parties such as the SA Greens and the SA branch of the National Party of Australia.
In Canada, the Marijuana Party of Canada was launched by Marc-Boris St-Maurice as a follow up to the Québécois Bloc pot in February 2000 to work at the federal level. There are also other party organizations at the provincial level.
The Saskatchewan Marijuana Party functions in a politically independent fashion, and does not hold any formal association to any other political organizations federally or provincially. On April 20 of 2006, the party submitted their petition of registration to elections Saskatchewan. The petition was successful and the party was fully registered as a political party in the province of Saskatchewan as of June 7, 2006.
The party leader is currently Nathan Holowaty. Nathan Holowaty has referred to himself as a socially responsible libertarian and believes in the full scale legalization of cannabis. Nathan has a degree in political studies from the University of Saskatchewan.
In Quebec, the Québécois Bloc pot, created by Marc-Boris St-Maurice, ran their first election campaign in 1998. In February 2000, the party launched the Marijuana Party of Canada which ran 73 candidates in the 2000 federal election. Bloc pot is now the provincial counterpart of the Marijuana Party of Canada.
In New Zealand the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party ran for the first time in 1996. They have never had any Members of Parliament, but have averaged around 1% of the popular vote - one fifth of what is necessary to gain MPs under New Zealand's proportional representation system. A former member, Nandor Tanczos, was an MP as part of the New Zealand Green Party (1999-2008). (He was also New Zealand's first ever Rastafarian Member of Parliament). The party had candidates in the 2008 general election.
The New Zealand Green Party maintains a cannabis-reform policy, focused around decriminalisation.
On the 22. of September 2009, the political party DnC or Det norske Cannabispartiet was registered in Stavanger by Even Ganja Helland and Sigbjørn Eskeland, both from Jørpeland, Norway.
In Spain the Partido Cannabis participated in the Spanish general election, 2004, by standing candidates for seats in the Cortes in three provinces, (Valencia, Alicante and Valladolid). They scored between 0.35% and 1.11% of votes cast.
In the United Kingdom there is the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA), which was registered as a political party from 1999 to 2006, 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 LCA de-registered itelf as a political party, and continues to work as a pressure group.
The party drew inspiration from the performances of Howard Marks and Buster Nolan as independent legalise cannabis candidates in the 1997 general election. (Howard Marks stood in four different constituencies of the House of Commons.)
By the time of the 2001 general election the party had experience of campaigns in two House of Commons by-elections and various local government elections. In the general election the party contested 13 constituencies and their share of the vote ranged from 1.1% to 2.5%.
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, and many people saw this change as virtual 'decriminalisation'. It was a long way short of full legalisation. It has recently returned to a class B substance.
The LCA contested 21 constituencies in the 2005 general election. Their share of the vote ranged from 0.6% to 1.8%, falling significantly from its previous levels, presumably because reclassification of cannabis had made the case for legalisation less pressing.
In Ireland there were attempts to establish a Cannabis legalisation Party however the government have so far refused to allow any such parties to be registered. A number of individuals including journalist Olaf Tyaransen have stood in various elections (national, Local and European) as independent candidates on a legalise cannabis platform. The only success to date has been the election of "Ming" Luke Flannigan to Roscommon County Council although it is generally accepted that Flannigan's success was also mainly due to his stance on other political issues.
Recently, the group Legalise Cannabis Ireland has been building a campaign to legalise cannabis in Ireland. It organised the first cannabis march in Ireland and was the only group to provide information about contaminated cannabis or 'grit weed' in Ireland. It is currently building membership to become a registered political party.
In the United States there is the United States Marijuana Party that has local chapters in 29 states. There are also state-level parties. Members associated with the US Marijuana Party have run for office, including Edward Forchion (for multiple offices) and candidates from the Marijuana Reform Party (for governor).
In New York State, in 1998 and 2002, the Marijuana Reform Party of New York State ran candidates for governor and other statewide offices. In 2004, a federal judge held that, by running candidates in 1998 and 2002 statewide elections, the Marijuana Reform Party demonstrated a "modicum of support" sufficient to entitle it to an injunction compelling the state board of elections to recognize the party and allow voters to enroll in it. Viable in New York State because of its unique fusion political system, it remains the only political party in the United States recognized on a statewide level and dedicated to the advocacy of marijuana law reform, with the exception of the Libertarian Party, which advocates legalization of all drugs.
In the State of Vermont, Cris Ericson was on the official election ballot in 2004 for the Marijuana Party for Governor and for U.S. Senate. It is legal to be on the official election ballot for one state and one federal office. http://www.times.com/ref/elections2004/2004VT.html Cris Ericson will be on the official election ballot 2008 for U.S. Congress House of Representatives and for Governor of Vermont for the U.S. Marijuana Party.
Cult author Robert Anton Wilson created the Guns and Dope Party in response to a request from his friends that he enter the California 2003 special mid-term recall election as a candidate for Governor. Wilson, who used medicinal marijuana to alleviate symptoms of Post-polio syndrome, coined the party name based on his insight that "dopers" and "gun nuts" if working together would form a formidable majority in California. Wilson wrote, "I'll tolerate your hobbies if you'll tolerate mine."