|Legalise Cannabis Alliance|
Drug policy reform
|Politics of the United
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, as a Biomass, Hemp based products (such as rope & oil spill cleanup booms) as well as for recreational drug use. It was formed in Norwich in 1999 with the name Legalise Cannabis Alliance as a registered political party, with Alun Buffry as its nominating officer, 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 served as its election manifesto. The manifesto takes at face value Jack Herer's claims in the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes about the potential of cannabis as a source of renewable fuel.
The origin of the party was a pressure group formed in Norwich after Alun Buffry was imprisoned. This group was named Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International. The group met at Jack's Yard, off Magdalen street. The group was renamed after a few years of successful campaigning to "Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association" which it remained until several members felt the need for an umbrella group to take the legalisation issue to a political level not met by the CLCIA
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 by election 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 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 LCA pursued Welsh seats during the 2005 election, managing to accrue enough candidates in Wales to qualify for a Party_political_broadcast (or PEB) which was aired on Welsh TV (BBC Wales etc). This was also broadcast on Cable TV in the entire UK to any subscriber with access to the Welsh stations.
The party voted to de-register at a conference in Norwich on November 11, 2006, and to continue as a pressure group.
|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|
|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|
|2005 general election||Canterbury||Rocky van de Benderskum||326||0.7||N/A|
|Carmarthen East and Dinefwr||Sid James Whitworth||343||0.7||N/A|
|Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South||Alex Daszak||343||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|
|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|
|Worthing West||Chris Baldwin||550||1.2||N/A|
|Ynys Mon||Tim Evans||232||0.7||N/A|
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