Legalise Cannabis WA MPs Dr Brian Walker and Sophia Moermond have tabled not one but two cannabis bills as they bid to have recreational use legalised and allow the state’s citizens to vote on it in a referendum.

Following the tabling of their anticipated bill to legislate for adult recreational use in Western Australia, the pair then tabled a second bill calling for a referendum on the question.

Giving his second reading speech on the Misuse of Drugs (Lawful Person Use of Cannabis) Amendment Bill 2024, Dr Walker reiterated his party’s commitment to reform.

Dr Brian Walker and Sophie Moermond

“Recreational use of cannabis has always been part of our social structure. Over half the population has tried it at some point, and about 10% consume it on a regular basis.”

The bill would allow people to grow up to six cannabis plants at their place of residence, and share up to 50 grams of cannabis with another adult, for no economic gain, without an offence being committed.

Dr Walker said the bill contains safeguards to ensure young people are not adversely affected, and to stop people smoking or vaping cannabis in public spaces, but beyond that, it would treat small amounts of cannabis in the same way as beer and tobacco.

After his speech, Dr Walker deferred to his colleague Sophia Moermond, who introduced the Legalise Cannabis (Referendum) Bill 2024.

“We don’t necessarily expect the government to come on board with our legalisation plans,” she commented. “But surely we can hope that, if they won’t listen to us, they’ll at least listen to the ordinary people of WA,” Moermond told parliament.

She also quoted a recent national survey which showed support for cannabis legalisation to be at an all-time high.

“As many as 80% of Australians support a change in the law, according to last year’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey,” she said.

Moermond’s bill would add a referendum question to the ballot at the next state election, scheduled for March 2025, with voters being asked “should cannabis be legalised in Western Australia to allow for home growth and adult personal use?”

“If the Cook Government believes its prohibitionist approach is the right one, let them put it to the test by asking the voting public,” Moermond said.

A government response to both bills is expected in mid-June.

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Stu Finlayson

With over 25 years in journalism, public relations, corporate marketing, editorial, and advertising content creation, Stu has a broad range of experience across a number of industry verticals. Having...

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