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Marijuana Party of Canada
Leader Blair T. Longley
President None
Founded 2000
Headquarters 23 - 3865 Belanger, Montreal, QC H1X 1B4
Ideology Radical Anti-Prohibitionism (cannabis)
International affiliation None
Official colours Brown
Seats in the House of Commons 0 House, 0 Senate
Website
http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/
Politics of Canada
Political parties
Elections

The Marijuana Party of Canada (French: Parti Marijuana du Canada) is a Canadian federal political party whose short-form name that appears on the voting ballots as Radical Marijuana. It lobbies to end prohibition of cannabis. With the exception of this one issue, the party does not have "official policy" in any other area. Thus, party candidates are free to express their own personal views on all other political issues even if such views contradict the personal opinions of other party candidates or the party leader.

Contents

History

The party was founded by Marc-Boris St-Maurice, an activist and member of the punk group GrimSkunk. After a 1991 arrest for possession of marijuana, he vowed to legalize cannabis. He started by creating the Bloc pot, a Quebec political party and eventually, as the current law prohibiting the possession of cannabis is a federal law, founded the federal Marijuana Party. On February 28, 2005, St-Maurice announced his intention to join the Liberal Party in order to work for liberalized marijuana laws from within the governing party.

Blair T. Longley became the new party leader following St-Maurice's resignation.

In the November 2000 federal election, the party nominated candidates in 73 ridings in seven provinces and won 66,419 votes (0.52% of national popular vote). In the June 2004 federal election, the party nominated almost the same number of candidates (71), but won only 33,590 votes (0.25% of the national popular vote). In the January 2006 federal election, the party ran candidates in only 23 ridings and received 9,275 votes (0.06% of the national popular vote). In Nunavut riding, however, the party's candidate won 7.88% of all ballots cast and finished in fourth place, ahead of the Greens.

The decline in the party's support may be linked to several factors. In January and May 2004, changes were made to Canada's electoral laws which significantly reduced the fund raising abilities of the Marijuana Party of Canada. The elections law was changed to disallow the Marijuana Party's political contribution tax credit scheme. These changes in the elections laws wiped out 95% of the party's previous legal ability to raise funds. Also in 2004, a vote for the bigger parties became worth money to the bigger parties, but a vote was worth nothing to the smaller parties. Bigger parties, that are able to get more than 2% of the national vote make money from elections. They get money for each vote they receive, and they get most of the money they spent campaigning refunded. At the same time, smaller parties go broke attempting to participate, since everything they do ends up being worth nothing but, perhaps, a nebulous change in public opinions regarding some issues.

Many members of the Marijuana Party decided to switch to join the bigger political parties.

A number of currently-elected federal political parties, including the Liberal Party of Canada, the Bloc Québécois (Bloc) and the New Democratic Party (NDP), have been making small moves toward decriminalization of the drug. Additionally, the currently-unelected but larger Green Party of Canada also endorses the legalization of cannabis (in a manner similar to alcohol) as one part of their platform. About 90% of the original members of the Marijuana Party, during the 2004 and 2006 elections, switched to support bigger political parties. What was left of the Marijuana Party was the radical rump of marijuana militants that did not want to go mainstream, and one expression of this was that the short-form of the party name was changed to Radical Marijuana. The Radical Marijuana position is that marijuana is good, while the government is evil, and that it is the real reason why marijuana is illegal.

The Marijuana Party of Canada could not exist without past victories in court. One such victory made each federal candidate's $1,000 nomination deposit fully refundable. Another reduced the number of candidates required for official party status from 50 to only 1. This has made it possible for the party to barely survive.

Radical Marijuana has little left in common with the mainstream marijuana movements. Radical Marijuana is governed by the Canada Elections Act, and it has no other by-laws, charter or constitution to govern its operations. This party has radically different attitudes towards all political issues: marijuana is the salient symbol and most extreme example of the general pattern of social facts that society is controlled by huge lies and lots of coercion.

Radical Marijuana is very different than the original Marijuana Party, but currently has no practical way to communicate that to voters, other than through articles on its Web site. This party continues to operate in a totally decentralized way. Its candidates are practically in the same position as independent candidates. Its Electoral District Associations are autonomous clones of the party as whole. The only material benefit that small registered political parties have is the political contribution tax credit. The current Parti Marijuana Party is designed to maximize that opportunity through its Electoral District Associations.

Election results

Election # of candidates nominated # of seats won # of total votes  % of popular vote  % in ridings run in
2000
73
0
66 310
0.516%
1.98%
2004
71
0
33 497
0.25%
1.02%
2006
23
0
9 275
0.06%
0.82%
2008
8
0
2,319
0.02%
1.00%

Provincial parties

In addition to the Bloc Pot party in Quebec, the Marijuana Party has several separate provincial counterparts, most notably, the British Columbia Marijuana Party which received over 3% of the vote in the 2001 provincial election, and the Marijuana Party of Nova Scotia. The Bloc Pot and the federal Marijuana Party work together, however, the BC Marijuana Party and the federal Marijuana Party do not work together.

See also

External links








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