Long-time legalise cannabis advocate Mark Rayner has been selected as the candidate for the Legalise Cannabis Party candidate for Clarence in the March 25 state election.
After being involved with the Hemp Party for more than a decade, and part of the Cannabis Party movement from the 1980’s, Mr Rayner said he was asked to run for the seat of Clarence by the party.
He said he has decades of experience with parties advocating the legalisation of cannabis.
“I was the secretary of the South Australian Hemp Party and I’m currently a registered officer for the South Australia legalise cannabis party,” he said.
“I was the federal Legalise Cannabis Party vice-president for two years.
“I’ve represented in other state and federal elections, and they needed someone to fill a space, so here I am.”
Mr Rayner said he and his partner were travelling around Australia and they have settled in Grafton.
Former Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham is the lead candidate in the Legalise Cannabis Party’s tilt at the state election.
In the 2022 Federal election, the Legalise Cannabis Party stunned political experts when it picked up between two and seven per-cent of the vote in most states.
Mr Rayner said the party had one policy, to legalise cannabis.
“Our policy is to legalise cannabis for consumption for all,” he said.
The legalisation of cannabis would benefit everyone, Mr Rayner said.
“Every single human has what’s called an endogenous cannabinoid system and our diets are such that we are not feeding that system properly and we are getting a lot of disease and a lot of ailments that can be prevented by the consumption of plant cannabinoids,” he said.
“There are tens of thousands of people every day that drink alcohol and consume prescription medications, I don’t see what the problem is with cannabis.
“Cannabis doesn’t cause violence, it doesn’t create challenges, it doesn’t let you forget yourself.”
Despite Legalise Cannabis being a single party policy, Mr Rayner said if he is elected, he has a good understanding of issues confronting the electorate, the rigours and costs of rural living and environmental concerns.
“I’m fully up to date with the issues around drugs, especially around Grafton, where I understand it is pretty intense, the alternative man-made substances like methamphetamine is definitely a problem,” he said.
“If I’m elected all these other issues will be discussed at length with the community and with those concerned.”
Nominations for the 2023 NSW elections close today, Wednesday, March 8, with the ballot draw to determine the order of candidates to be held the following day at 10am.