Marijuana Law Reform

As the campaign progresses, I'm getting asked lots of interesting questions. I'm going to put the questions and answers as they arise right here so that everyone can see what I stand for in relation to the issues that matter to them.

1 October 2017

"Can you confirm your position on the growing of and use of marijuana

In 1999 I moved a motion at the WA Labor State conference to decriminalise the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis by adults. The motion passed and became party policy.


In 2001 the Gallop Labor Government was elected, and in 2002 I was employed by as a Senior Policy Adviser to the Minister for Health. I had responsibility for (among other things) leading the negotiations with the Health Department and WA Police Force for the drafting of the Cannabis Control Act which the WA Parliament passed into law in 2003.


The legislation removed criminal prosecution for people with personal-use amounts of Cannabis, and replaced it with a system of fines. If people chose to attend an education session about the health consequences of cannabis use, then the fine was waived.


I am proud of the work I did to help this change come to pass. It was good law and good policy, and it reduced harm in our community.


The consequences of people getting a criminal record for smoking a joint are very damaging to people’s employment and career options. Even their travel options are limited by a criminal conviction.


I am proud of this work because I believe we should minimise harm, and treat drug use primarily as a health issue. 


The Barnett government came to power and repealed the legislation. 


At the WA Labor State conference this year, I moved a motion calling on the McGowan Labor government to put it back in place.


The motion I moved passed unanimously.


It is now up to the McGowan Labor Government to decide when and how they wish to follow the policy of the Labor party on the issue.