Meet our amazing candidates in the NSW state election 2023.
Jeremy Buckingham been endorsed to lead the Upper House ticket for the Legalise Cannabis Party. He was an MP in the NSW Legislative Council from 2011-2019 and has a record of successful activism and advocacy on environmental and social issues.
James Mathison has been an advocate for cannabis legalisation for many years, and is excited to take his advocacy to the next level as one of our lead candidates. He believes that the current laws criminalising cannabis use and possession are not only ineffective but also unjust, disproportionately affecting the sick, young people, and indigenous Australians.
Sue is a business owner and a long-time strong supporter of cannabis law reform. She believes it is well past time to legalise cannabis for both medical and recreational use and to change the drug driving laws. She believes legislation will free up the police and court system and prevent people’s lives being ruined by unwarranted convictions. She would also like people to have the right to grow their own plants.
Tihema (Tia) Elliston
Tia is a ball of energy who has worked very hard to instigate changes in the community in and around Coffs Harbour. She is the mother of 5 and grandmother of 10. She is a carer for her mum who uses cannabis medicinally to treat effects of post-cancer treatment and chronic pain. Tia is also a keen environmentalist who sees opening up the hemp industry as a way to lower dependency on timber and reduce the logging of our forests.
57-year-old, hard-working husband, father and proud ‘Pop’ to four fabulous grandchildren. A supporter of legalising cannabis since he was a young man, for its value as a building and textile material and it’s phenomenal medical uses, right through to it’s recreational use for adults who wish to indulge. That the plant is illegal in 2023 is astonishing. How can a plant be criminalised? It makes no sense, especially when we see other countries leading the way and governments in legal jurisdictions internationally, thriving. NSW is missing the economic boat. Cannabis’ export potential is immeasurable, the economy would boom and there would be no losers. Let’s do it, it’s time.
Gail’s advocacy work began in 2014 when she started the Medical Cannabis Users Association of Australia Inc., (MCUA) as a collective voice for patients to gain access to cannabis for medicinal purposes. Instead, the government gave patients corporatised cannabis and an export industry that puts profit before patients. Gail continues to advocate for a fairer system that does not discriminate against the disadvantaged and believes legalisation, and allowing people to grow their own, is the best way to achieve that. Gail worked in tandem with others to establish the first Legalise Cannabis Party, in Queensland, in 2020. Since then, she has been instrumental in helping to register Legalise Cannabis Parties in five mainland states, resulting in four voices inside parliament, who are making a real difference.
Vivian (Mac) McMahon
Worked at the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin for 18 years promoting Cannabis law reform. Has also been an HIV/AIDS activist since 1985 and is a member of many HIV support groups. Has a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine. ‘Mac’ is also an actor, artist, chorister, sportsman, traveller and a keen gardener.
A current medical student and medical researcher, Tom spent a good part of his adult life making and selling a recreational drug. The fact that this drug (alcohol) is perfectly legal emphasised for him the need to have a sensible and rational approach to regulating drugs, an approach which has definitely been missing to date.
A registered nurse and medicinal cannabis consultant, for many years Louise has witnessed the benefits of medicinal cannabis to ameliorate terrible symptoms of disease. Due to the disability of health and well-being, people are often financially compromised and current drug laws discriminate against them, by being unable to drive while using medicinal cannabis, even though in no way ‘impaired’. Once the current drug laws are abolished, medical cannabis will become affordable and people can resume driving without fear of criminality.
As someone who once believed all the “reefer madness” rhetoric, Daniel now knows the truth about cannabis and works to help break the stigma and educate others about its benefits and various uses.
A medical cannabis user for chronic back pain and fibromyalgia, he finds cannabis the best medicine to also manage his autism and mental health. Since starting medical cannabis, his life has changed for the better. He has been passionate about studying the many uses of cannabis, other than smoking (<2% of total use). Antony has watched with envy as other countries around the world develop new improved technologies with cannabis at the core. He’d like the hemp/cannabis innovation boom to hit Australia’s shores to create new jobs
Ian has lived in Sydney’s inner western suburbs for many years. He is an enthusiastic promoter of legalised cannabis and CBD oil; and has a keen interest in environmental issues.
Mark owns an electronics design and manufacturing company, specialising in Medical Electronics. He has been involved in the Health Industry, and worked in Hospitals for 30 years, mainly in Neurology and Anaesthetics. Mark has seen no beneficial outcomes from
government policies of outlawing Cannabis, in fact he sees only poor outcomes. Past and current government policies aimed at entrenching the monopoly that organised crime has in Cannabis trade, and the corruption that flows from it, while reducing funding to the organisations and government departments that deal in a meaningful way with the health issues that arise. Mark would like to see more funding going into research, and treating the cannabinoids the same as we do with other neurotransmitters. The decision to make Cannabis illegal was a political one, and a bad one, it needs to be reversed and allow policy to be driven by real, quantifiable, scientific health outcomes.
Ross Smith is a 62 year old self employed horticulturist living the dream with his wife Rosie on their off grid bush block in the NSW south west slopes region. Ross brings a wealth of lived experience and a depth of knowledge to the party, and an unshakeable belief that cannabis is the most valuable natural resource on the planet.
Cannabis literally saved Mia’s life and now she’s standing up for legalisation. As a cannabis advocate and activist for several years, she has a passion for reducing stigma, raising awareness, educating and changing cannabis laws. Raw cannabis, which is not available to patients, played a vital role in her recovery. Mia strongly advocates for home growing, so people can feed their endocannabinoid system and prevent much of the ill health that plagues society today.
Michael (Ned) Harper
Mostly a work-at-home dad who enjoys playing with his kids and helping them with their studies. Michael has spent the past 15 years managing the delivery of affordable housing in New South Wales.
A new and passionate member of the Legalise Cannabis Party, before relocating to Nimbin six years ago, Nicole worked for the NSW Police Force in strategic intelligence and applied research. Nicole and her husband, Nic, recently built and have commenced operating an Eco-certified accommodation business in Nimbin. Nicole is a fervent advocate for the legalisation of cannabis after witnessing the positive therapeutic effect medically prescribed cannabis had on Nic’s treatment during a protracted workers compensation claim.
Max Green is an advocate for cannabis reform in Australia. He believes that we are well overdue for an overhaul on our cannabis legislation as it currently: does more harm than good, is a waste of taxpayers money and disproportionately affects those of lower
socioeconomic backgrounds. These funds would be better spent on education around the safe use of substances rather than their criminalisation. No one should be under threat of gaol time for using a medicinal plant.
Keys has lived in the Myall Lakes area all his life and has just become a new dad! He strongly believes cannabis should be legal for all its uses. He witnessed the life-changing benefits of using raw, juiced cannabis on a loved one who was suffering through chemo – a product that should be available to all, but is not. Keys believes if we could grow our own to use in cooking and juicing we could prevent a lot of ill health.
Michael has been passionate about legalising cannabis since he educated himself about the origins of the war on certain ‘drugs’. Basically a war on any
drugs not owned by ‘Big Pharma’ who have cornered the market on pain relief, probably the most profitable business on Earth. The ‘drug war’ is all about who
gets to profit from our pain relief. Cannabis, being so safe and so good for so many ailments, is a huge threat to their profits. It stopped my migraines completely.
She is a local to Nambucca and has spent many years living in Oxley. Medically prescribed cannabis, Megan says it has changed her life. She believes we should be legally permitted to grow our own for personal use. A keen advocate for change, there are many local issues to be addressed and she is keen to work with community groups to get things done.
Served twelve years in the Royal Australian Navy including two tours of duty in Vietnam. Unable to settle down, he spent twenty years wandering the planet. Finally, he married, returned to Australia and had three children. He began to suffer anxiety and tension headaches. He was diagnosed with war-related PTSD which was unsuccessfully treated with pharmaceuticals. He found small doses of cannabis at the end of the day gave instant relief from headaches and was a relaxant. Peter believes passionately we need responsible leadership and factual information instead of ‘reefer madness’. He recently revisited Barcelona and was very impressed with attitudes in Spain, and their uncompromising policies of harm minimisation. The reasons are obvious, the time is near, and Peter wants to serve, again.
Tim is a medical cannabis advocate. His search for alternative medicinal remedies to treat his inflammatory disease led him to cannabis as a viable treatment for his condition. He has
seen firsthand the benefits of cannabis and the wonders it has done for other people suffering pain and various other medical issues. Tim was one of the members of the original Legalise Cannabis NSW Party Steering Committee which started the process for registering the Party. He advocates for cannabis law reform because he knows it will bring a better quality of life for all patients and help reduce the cost of spending in the Health Budget.
Karen lives in Newcastle. She believes all Australians deserve immediate affordable access to whole plant cannabis, as a gift from creation. It offers a better quality of life and has been consumed as food and medicine for thousands of years with no recorded deaths, ever. Karen believes hemp has the potential to create self sustainable industries with biodegradable products that enhance the environment. Hemp can be used for food, medicine, housing, plastic, fabric, fibre, biofuel, batteries, oil and more. A mother and grandmother, Karen feels the time to end prohibition and make the transition with the cannabis/hemp plant is needed now for our well-being, our children’s well-being, our grandchildren’s well-being, the well-being of all future generations and to protect and preserve our precious natural resources especially our water and food tables.
Jacob works as a vocational educator specialising in helping people return to work and has been an advocate for legalisation of cannabis for over 15 years. He became a medical cannabis patient in 2021 following
a series of sporting injuries and continues to use the medicine to manage pain and inflammation. He is committed to the implementation of sensible cannabis regulation which will end the persecution of recreational and medical users and hopes to unlock the massive economic potential of cannabis for Australians.
Peter has long been an advocate for a sensible and responsible approach to cannabis use. With the many proven medicinal benefits, he believes that patients should have access to affordable, high-quality medical cannabis products. Additionally, he strongly supports the rights for adults to make their own decisions regarding recreational cannabis use, and that legalisation and regulation are the only rational options. By promoting a sensible approach to cannabis, we can improve public health outcomes and generate revenue for our communities.
Patricia is a historian with a special interest in twentieth century Australian cultural heritage. Her postgraduate work was concerned with government and the regulation of print media, particularly the censorship of novels. She is
currently writing a biography of an Australian artist and novelist. Swimming and local volunteer bush regeneration work are her other occupations. She believes that a society can be defined by the culture it excludes, whether it be art, literature, cannabis, or equal opportunity for its indigenous populations. It is indicative of an illiberal society when a cannabis-fancying Australian can only exist on the right side of the law whilst holidaying in Amsterdam or Bangkok. She will advocate on behalf of justice in all its guises.
Andrew is a former practising Medical Herbalist and clinic owner, who has returned to a role as a train driver in the Hunter Valley. He and his wife, Georgie have 6 adult children and 5 grandchildren. Andrew will passionately advocate for the people of the area, working to improve public transport, attract new innovative business and hemp related economic growth. As a representative in government, he is committed to changing the drug driving laws and representing the needs of all his constituents.
Tim has been a local to the Blue Mountains and Penrith area his whole life and has raised his family there. He knows the benefits of cannabis used medically and the harms being created by current cannabis laws. Around 90% of cannabis prosecutions are for personal consumption. Wasting time and money on prosecuting people for smoking a plant is pure nonsense and a crime in itself. Once convicted a criminal record can ruin lives and prevent young people from getting ahead in life. Legalising cannabis is a common-sense change that Australia needs.
A hard-working mum of two, Josie grew up in Queanbeyan and is very passionate about a cleaner, greener future. Her PTSD and anxiety is treated by medically prescribed cannabis and as a result she has experienced a huge improvement in her quality of life. She has been educating family and friends for years about hemp and cannabis and wants to make legalisation a reality.
Marc is a medically prescribed patient since returning from Barcelona earlier this year after eight years as a medical “refugee”. While there he managed a Cannabis Social Club and has great insight into how this system could work in Australia. His expertise will be invaluable in developing a workable model for Australians.
Mark is a long-time advocate and campaigner for medical use of cannabis. He has represented the Federal HEMP party in past elections. He, like too many others on disability pensions, would like to access legal cannabis products but is unable to afford them. He will be fighting for justice and equality in the medical cannabis space.