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Australian Federal Election – Good For Cannabis?

It’s too early to tell, but things are, according to the Guardian, looking good for progressives in the Senate.

David Shoebridge the leader of the Greens said during the campaign that regulated adult use cannabis would be on the table if the Greens had any semblance of power in either of the houses.

As of Sunday AM the Guardian knows this

It looks as though Labor, the Greens and the progressive independent David Pocock may together form an absolute majority in the Senate.

Labor and the Greens will disagree on plenty of issues, but both will have an incentive to ensure success in the next term. And with up to four Greens elected to the House of Representatives, legislation with Greens support will have a handy buffer in the lower house.

The Greens look set to win a senator in every state, which would give them a total of 12. They appear to have gained a seat in Queensland, ousting LNP senator Amanda Stoker, and in South Australia from the former Centre Alliance independent bloc. Former senator Nick Xenophon’s comeback bid was a failure, sitting on 2.7% of the primary vote when counting was paused on Saturday night. The Greens are also set to take Labor’s third seat in New South Wales, the vulnerable seat that Kristina Keneally vacated to make her ill-fated run for Fowler.

A large swing to Labor in Western Australia has put them on course to win three seats, in addition to the incumbent Greens senator. That third Labor seat also comes at the expense of the Liberals.

Read the full Senate analysis here 


This will, we suggest, give them a modicum of wiggle room to push cannabis onto the Labor govt agenda.

Musing aloud I’d guess that Labor will, like Biden in the US, kick that can down the road for as long as they can indicating that they have far more important pieces of legislation that they need to get passed in the interim.

Essentially, there is a possibility for the Greens to enact change on many aspects of cannabis decriminalization and regulation but they will get a lot of push back from a cautious labor government.


In terms of the Cannabis Party we aren’t seeing any reporting yet that preferences will get one of the candidates across the line for a Senate seat but in terms of raw numbers but they aren’t doing badly considering they are a single issue party.

On taking a quick look at the actual numbers of people voting for cannabis candidates across the country the party has done better in most states than many of the other single issue parties on the ballot

The party received no major funding  and had virtually zero media coverage before the election and isn’t far off One Nation in terms of ticks on the ballot

As of Sunday morning Australia time the Australian Electoral Commission has the following raw data of votes counted

Australia has quite a complicated preferences system that comes into play for Senate seats and as you can see below the Cannabis party have, as yet ,not applied their preferences.

Does this mean that as a block they may have enough votes across the country to give them some horsetrading power to get a candidate (Michael Balderstone?) into Canberra.

It is too early to call and stranger things have happened with Western Australia recently getting two bums on seats in the Western Australian Senate with a ridiculously low primary vote.

We would suggest, though, that it gives the party some negotiating power with the Greens to force the agenda

First preferences by candidate








The make-up of the Australian Senate post-election is always very tricky to determine as preferences and deals fly back and forth for the next few weeks ut our guess is that the numbers polled by the cannabis party have provided a good reason for the Greens to take up the cannabis cause and run with it.

We shall see.

As the Guardian implies it looks like the Senate by its very nature in this upcoming term will be “progressive”

Does this mean we should expect cannabis legislation that’s actually serious or just some tinkering with the medical side of things.

Time will tell.

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