MPs face off on le­gal­is­ing cannabis

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

Rock­ing­ham and Kwinana MPs have re­acted in con­trast­ing fash­ions to Greens leader Richard Di Natale back­ing the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of cannabis.

The Fed­eral leader said last week he wanted Aus­tralia to fol­low the lead of Spain, Uruguay and nine US States and de­crim­i­nalise mar­i­juana use for adults.

South Metropoli­tan MLC Aaron Stone­house told the Tele

graph in De­cem­ber he wanted to progress the case for the drug to be made more read­ily avail­able in WA this year.

He spoke at the 420 Pic­nic Perth event in Fre­man­tle on Fri­day and said he saw it as his re­spon­si­bil­ity to stand up for per­sonal choice and civil lib­er­ties in WA.

“Two of the key ideas that un­der­pin my po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy are self-own­er­ship and au­ton­omy,” Mr Stone­house said.

“We as in­di­vid­u­als own our own bod­ies, minds and souls.

“It’s no se­cret that I’m a bit of a lone wolf in the Up­per House in terms of my views on drug re­form.

“But I would hope that even my most con­ser­va­tive col­leagues would agree that in­di­vid­u­als have a right to free­dom of thought, speech and ex­pres­sion.”

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said the State Gov­ern­ment was not will­ing to budge on cur­rent leg­is­la­tion. “I am aware there are schemes in some coun­tries that al­low le­gal recre­ational use of cannabis un­der cer­tain con­di­tions,” he said.

“Due to the ev­i­dence on the sig­nif­i­cant phys­i­cal and men­tal health harms re­lated to cannabis, the McGowan Gov­ern­ment is not con­sid­er­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of sim­i­lar schemes in Western Aus­tralia.

“Drug use can lead to so­cial and emo­tional prob­lems and can af­fect re­la­tion­ships with fam­ily and friends.

“In­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies who are af­fected by drug-use should visit their GP or health prac­ti­tioner for ad­vice and referrals.”

South Metropoli­tan MLC Aaron Stone­house was a guest speaker at the 420 Pic­nic Perth event in Fre­man­tle last week.

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