Newly formed pro-pot Legalise Cannabis Western Australia (LWCA) is celebrating, after unexpectedly snagging a second seat in Western Australia’s recent state election.
LCWA party member Dr. Brain Walker has officially won a seat in the state’s Upper House after getting 9,200 first preference votes in the election. He hails from the East Metropolitan Region, winning the sixth seat.
According to an article in the ABC, Dr. Walker was stunned, but not surprised to have been elected. He believes that WA should legalise the use of recreational cannabis, and has described it as “safer” than alcohol and tobacco.
Cannabis should be, as a natural, healthy, healing herb, available to all that need it or who want it. It is a heck of a lot safer than any alcohol.
Dr. Walker is a General Practitioner who works in Serpentine, in Perth’s south. He joined LCWA when it first formed, and ran alongside twenty-two LCWA members in the state election. Another LCWA member Sophia Moermond was also elected, in the South West Region.
LCWA is one of Australia’s newest political parties. It was only founded in December 2020, after drawing inspiration from Legalise Cannabis Queensland. The party’s public Facebook group now has over 2,900 members. LCWA won about 2% of the popular vote – which is remarkable for such a new party.
LCWA and other micro-parties were able to get MP’s elected using preference harvesting deals. These deals allow parties to preference each other in a region to boost their overall vote percentage.
This system also worked in favour of Wilson Tucker of the Daylight Saving Party. Tucker only received 98 first person votes, and apparently paid $50,000 for the services of a ‘vote whisperer’ who traded for his seat.
Although Dr. Walker and Moermond cannot legalise recreational cannabis without help from the Labor party, their election shows that public opinion is quickly shifting in favour of cannabis legalisation. Forty-one percent of Australians now support cannabis legalisation, according to the government’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey.