Nahan open to cannabis debate
State Opposition Leader Mike Nahan is open to discussing legalising cannabis for recreational use.
In the first clarification of his views on cannabis law as leader of the WA Liberal Party, Dr Nahan said he would welcome a debate on the topic.
“I never expressed a view on it (but) I am open-minded,” he said.
“I understand the dangers of it, it is an entry-level drug and it does affect people’s minds . . . (but) I’m not one that champions prohibition generally. It’s out there everywhere now, in a shadow economy.”
However, Dr Nahan said his willingness to discuss relaxing cannabis laws was not necessarily reflective of his party’s official stance, which has not been clarified since he became leader.
“We have not set a policy on that yet, we are supporting the status quo,” he said. “Whether we look at changing that or not is not at the top of my agenda, not at all.”
Dr Nahan’s comments were made while discussing the future of the medicinal cannabis industry in south-west WA, which he said has big potential.
His views could signal a potential turnaround in policy for the WA Liberal Party, which under Colin Barnett’s leadership scrapped laws that allowed people to grow cannabis for personal use.
Cannabis consumption for Australians is fairly common, with more than 35 per cent of people over 13-years-old having used it, according to the Australian Medical Association.
The AMA also claimed alcohol and tobacco are greater threats to Australian health than cannabis, but warned heavy consumption of the drug could affect memory, attention and social and work life.
It rejected claims cannabis was a gateway drug to cocaine and heroin as inconclusive. Greens Albanybased MLC Dianne Evers said earlier this year cannabis should be legalised in WA.
I understand the dangers of it (but) I’m not one that champions prohibition generally. Mike Nahan
Opposition leader Mike Nahan.