EXCLUSIVE: A SINGLE text message, a Facebook post and less than a week of reflection was all it took for "disillusioned" Buderim MP Steve Dickson to quit the party he had served in Parliament for a decade, and risk alienating the more than 15,000 who backed him at the last election.
The newly-anointed One Nation MP has spoken to the Sunshine Coast Daily about the week of his shock announcement to quit the LNP - after a decade of serving the party as an MP - to join Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
Mr Dickson has gone to pains to emphasise that his departure from the LNP was due to his frustration at the party's failure to support an amnesty for those requiring the use of medicinal cannabis before it becomes legal later this year.
He said neither Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, nor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had responded to his pleas to protect families in desperate need of the currently illicit medication.
Mr Dickson has repeatedly said only Ms Hanson had supported him, and that support was what drew him to quit the LNP.
IS THIS HOW PAULINE HANSON WON OVER STEVE DICKSON?
One Nation's support for Mr Dickson took the form of a single text message sent by Ms Hanson to Mr Turnbull's mobile phone, and a post on Ms Hanson's Facebook page calling on the PM to back an amnesty on medicinal cannabis.
Ms Hanson's "Please Explain" page shared a WIN News video featuring Mr Dickson calling for an amnesty for medicinal cannabis on the Sunday before he quit.
The post claimed Ms Hanson had "appealed directly" to the Prime Minister to deliver an amnesty, and called on her supporters to do the same. She included the hashtag #SteveDickson.
That direct appeal is thought to be a text message.
She posted two more calls to followers to fight for a medicinal cannabis amnesty a day later, but neither referred to Mr Dickson.
The Buderim MP said the Queensland Senator's use of SMS and Facebook on that weekend was enough to draw him in - already unhappy in the LNP - to quit the party.
"She is the only politician in the country that has come and backed this call for an amnesty," he said.
"She is the only politician who cares about the lives of these children.
"She stood up when nobody else did."
IT TOOK JUST ONE WEEK FOR STEVE DICKSON TO DEFECT, HE SAYS
Mr Dickson met with Ms Hanson in October last year, but maintains he had no intention to defect to the minor party and the topic was not discussed.
That is despite Ms Hanson confirming at the time she would not run a candidate against Mr Dickson because she considered him a "good member of Parliament".
His final decision to leave the LNP was made some time in the seven days before the announcement.
Mr Dickson could not remember what day he made the final decision to defect, despite calling it "one of the hardest things" he had ever done.
"It is something that has been building in me in for a very long time," he said on Thursday.
"The straw that broke the camel's back started last week."
HOW HARD DID HE LOBBY BEFORE THE RESIGNATION?
Mr Dickson said he had publicly called on Premier Palaszczuk to support the amnesty but had never contacted her directly or sought a meeting to discuss it.
His plea to the Prime Minister was made with a message left with a staffer who answered the phone at Mr Turnbull's Canberra office on Monday morning before his resignation four days later.
He did not hear back from Mr Turnbull or his office before his Friday press conference.
Mr Turnbull has since said an amnesty would be "irresponsible" because it would encourage an illegal black market where the quality of potency of the cannabis may not be safe.
Mr Dickson gave LNP Leader Tim Nicholls no indication ahead of his defection that the amnesty issue could lead to him deserting the party.
His final conversation as an LNP member with his former leader did not include any mention of medicinal cannabis.
Mr Dickson said discussions were had in the party room over years, and he felt the issue was often "treated as a joke".
In spite of this, the LNP ultimately supported changes to legalise medicinal cannabis.
The Buderim MP said his position on medicinal cannabis, and now the amnesty had been known "for a very long time", and that others did not take it seriously.
"My passion and pleas for this have been going on a very long time," he said.
"They must think me calling on them is a joke.
"I think people's lives are not a joke."
FROM A SAFE SEAT TO THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE
Buderim is among the safest LNP seats in Queensland, held by Mr Dickson since its creation in 2009.
Mr Dickson said he in the upcoming election due in 2018, he will be the underdog.
"My life could have been so much easier if I just sat back and did nothing," he said.
"I have put my job at risk.
"I would absolutely say I'm the underdog in this whole process leading into the future.
"This is about people who are sick and dying."