WA Premier Mark McGowan slams plans to legalise cannabis in bill that would allow 50g of marijuana

No high times ahead: Plans to legalise cannabis up in smoke as defiant premier extinguishes proposal that would let people grow marijuana ‘wherever they want’

Calls to legalise cannabis in Western Australia are growing – despite the premier repeatedly pouring cold water on the proposal.

Legalise Cannabis WA proposed a bill that would allow West Australians over the age of 18 to possess 50 grams of dried marijuana.

Households would also be be permitted to grow up to four plants under the proposed bill.

Upper house MPs Brian Walker and Sophia Moermond hoped to introduce bold legislation that would enable the changes to parliament next year.

But their hopes were dashed when Premier Mark McGowan said his Labor government would use its powers in both houses to block the bill.

‘Having freely available cannabis is not our policy,’ he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

Legalise Cannabis WA has proposed legislation allowing West Australians to possess 50 grams of marijuana and grow up to four plants per household (pictured, woman smoking cannabis)

‘They’re just proposing everyone can grow it wherever they want. That’s not what we’re doing. It’s just not an issue I want to deal with at this point in time.

‘We do allow for medicinal cannabis for people with arthritis or cancer or those sorts of things. That’s the policy at this point in time.’

The ACT legalised the personal use of cannabis in 2019. 

The territory’s Labor government also indicated it would support a bill to decriminalise possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin and MDMA.

Incoming WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch previously expressed concerns about similar laws being adopted in the west.

‘Often, many times that police enter houses where there is an issue, whether it is family domestic violence or a mental health episode, there is more often than not a methamphetamine or cannabis issue within that house and within that family that causes police officers to put themselves at risk, to put that family at risk,’ Mr Blanch told a parliamentary inquiry in March.

‘So, I think our answer to that is: we want to make sure our police officers are safe, the community is safe and police officers can make the right decision on what is presented before them.’

WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured with wife Sarah) said his government will use it powers to shut down the proposal in both the upper and lower house

WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured with wife Sarah) said his government will use it powers to shut down the proposal in both the upper and lower house

The premier’s comments haven’t deterred Legalise Cannabis WA, which vowed to consult the community about its proposal later this year, once a working draft was finalised. 

Its bold proposal also allowed for the licensing of dispensaries to sell cannabis products.

 ‘Cannabis is becoming a serious topic that Mark McGowan needs to address. This natural plant will only make WA better – socially, financially and medically,’ MP Brian Walker tweeted on Tuesday.

Ms Moermond, the second MP behind the bill, said the party hoped to see cannabis legalised soon.

‘I am looking forward to hearing your feedback on what will be a historic bill to come before our parliament,’ she said.

Ms Moermond and Dr Walker were elected to parliament at last year’s election on the back of complex preference deals. 

Dr Walker believed the proposal would put the state at the forefront of cannabis development in Australia and could result in other states following their lead.

Legalise Cannabis WA will continue public consultation of its planned bill.

Legalise Cannabis WA will continue public consultation of its planned bill.

‘Legalisation over the world is gaining momentum and we want to see Australia benefit from the proven health and financial bonanza that result,’ Dr Walker told The West Australian.

‘We want to speak with health experts, with community leaders, with other political parties, those in the cannabis industry, and members of the general public – as many people as we can in the time available to us.’

Their victory came at the expense of the Greens, who only had one MP elected despite having a primary vote three times bigger than that of Legalise Cannabis.

The McGowan government has since passed legislation to abolish group voting tickets, which allow parties to dictate the preference distribution when electors vote above the line.

WA Upper House MP Sophia Moermond (pictured) backs a proposal bill to legalise cannabis

WA Upper House MP Sophia Moermond (pictured) backs a proposal bill to legalise cannabis

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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