Steve Dickson, State Member for Buderim, Queensland has defected from the Liberal National Party, with issues concerning medical cannabis playing a major role in his decision.
In a shock move, Mr. Dickson has joined what is arguably Australia’s most controversial political party; One Nation.
Last week, we mentioned One Nation’s leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, had joined forces with Mr. Dickson to apply pressure to Australia’s Government to accelerate the availability of cannabis medicines.
Mr. Dickson said he has been troubled by the number of families in Australia that need to make a very difficult decision – break Australian laws by providing their children with medicinal marijuana products, or put their child’s life in danger.
“A photo on my Facebook page shows two of these families together with tireless advocates for medicinal cannabis, with the caption – People before politics,” said Mr. Dickson in a statement on his web site announcing his defection.
“To me, this is not just a catchy social media hashtag. I mean it, and I’m willing to bet my political career on this very notion. People before Politics. Feedback from many people is that they feel that the major parties have lost touch.”
Last year, Mr. Dickson sponsored a petition calling for Australian made whole plant cannabis therapies be made available to anyone who could benefit from their use.
Mr. Dickson believes the major parties have lost their way on the cannabis issue.
“This is an opportunity to find their way back, to grow a backbone and grant amnesty for these young people who need this life-saving drug just to stay alive,” he said.
Mr. Dickson has served as a State Member of Parliament for ten years; first as a Liberal, then as an LNP Member and now as part as One Nation.
His defection has been referred to as a “seismic shift” in the lead-up to elections in Queensland next year.
In December, party leader Pauline Hanson announced 36 candidates will stand at the next Queensland election; with more to be announced.
One Nation went into last year’s Federal Election with a pro-medical marijuana policy. The policy drew criticism, with accusations some of it had been lifted from Wikipedia.