The Legalise Cannabis Party scored a major win this year with the election of MP Jeremy Buckingham to NSW State Parliament. He’s a controversial figure amongst his former colleagues within the Greens Party, but on the topic of marijuana legalisation, he’s definitely one of the politicians who are doing the most for the movement.
Buckingham is not a career politician who did the business/law/justice degree to the public servant pipeline either. While he now has over ten years of political experience, before that he did everything from fronting a metal band to stonemasonry. Definitely a man of the people in that regard.
That’s probably one of the reasons why he’s keen to lead the charge and cause a bit of commotion in order to bring attention to the work that both him and his party are doing. He already spent time on his first day in office with our friends at the Craze Collective riding around in a fleet of military vehicles protesting against unfair drug driving laws for medicinal cannabis users. This time however, he decided to take the fight right to ground zero; the NSW State Parliament building.
The Craze Collective just so happened to have a prop cannabis plant left over from one of their previous productions and decided to re-home it Buckingham’s office there. Owing to Buckingham’s rather casual manner of dress, security didn’t initially believe that Buckingham even had the clearance to let the Craze Collective into the building. The issue was quickly sorted however, and “Queen Sativa” as dubbed by Buckingham, was swiftly rolled in on a cart for a photo op with Queen Elizabeth (or rather her painting).
Queen Sativa was then wheeled into the Macquarie Room where all the committee proceedings happen, including the ones where multiple former members of state parliament (such as John Barilaro) were grilled for corruption and misconduct. It was here that the Craze Collective sat down with Buckingham to get a bit of his insight into why he’s so passionate about cannabis:
In the interview, Buckingham was frank about being a lifelong user of cannabis, having been raised in Tasmania where it is grown outdoors across the hinterland. He said that as he grew older, he learnt more about its therapeutic benefits and became highly passionate about its legalisation.
Like most advocates, he outlined how legalisation could be an incredible benefit for the economy while having none of the negative effects that the alcohol and gambling industries have already had on Australian society. He pointed to certain American states like Colorado, and countries such as Canada and Thailand, as proof that marijuana can create countless jobs and ensure governments a steady stream of funding to put towards public services.
He also raised that Indigenous Australians make up a disproportionate number of arrests and prosecutions for cannabis offences. In his eyes, legalisation isn’t just an issue about recreational and therapeutic use, it’s also a social justice issue. He affirmed that the current legal status of cannabis in Australia is an injustice and that the Legalise Cannabis Party also has a wider agenda to promote drug law reform and civil liberties. Overall, he’s quite positive about cannabis being legalised nationally in the coming years.
Last but not least, he said that he would continue to participate in what many would term “publicity stunts” to raise more support for legalisation. In his eyes, the stunts are just another part of the creative and artistic culture that cannabis contributes to. Buckingham himself was practically bursting with jokes and one liners throughout his time with the Craze Collective. He’s definitely one of the few politicians out there who can be charismatic and funny off the cuff.
After the interview, Queen Sativa was taken to Jeremy’s office where it found its new home on his balcony. It was here that he also introduced his team who have been working tirelessly to support the work that he does. He was clearly in good hands considering experience that people on his team (like his media adviser William Verity) have. While they were there, the Craze Collective also handed him some gifts from admirers of his work.
Firstly, the Craze Collective gave him some merch from their own store 710@420. He also received a bar mat/runner from 420 Superstore, merch from the medicinal clinic PlantMed, a mouthpiece filter from Cloud Vault for exhaling smoke into, two premium grinders from GrindeROO, and some dry herb vaporizers from Kanao.
If there’s one thing you can say about the cannabis community, it’s that they’re certainly generous! He also received an invite to the Australian Cannabis Summit which is happening in October in Brisbane. An invite which he very swiftly agreed to.
Jeremy closed things out by urging people to join the Legalise Cannabis Party and vote in all upcoming state elections. He proclaimed that if it’s not legalised within three years, he’ll smoke a joint while Parliament is in session. Here at FAB, we’re all hoping that he won’t have to land himself in more trouble!