MP in high spirits after delivering cannabis Christmas card

MP in high spirits after delivering cannabis Christmas card

Jack Taylor and Serpentine Dr Brian Walker have been collaborating to send out Christmas cards to politicians and the media since 2021.

Legalise Cannabis Party MP Brian Walker is seeing 2023 out in a blaze of glory after backing up last year’s “poorly photoshopped” and “controversial” Christmas card to parliamentary colleagues with another absolute humdinger.

“This Christmas, let’s unwrap the gift of economic growth by legalising cannabis,” Dr Walker wrote inside the card, which features the Serpentine GP as a jolly old Saint Nick delivering a treasure chest of weed and making it rain with cash.

Dr Walker admits to upping the ante this year, after his 2022 card went down like a lead balloon with state media.

His 2022 card was making a point of the hypocrisy between legal blood alcohol limits while driving and the zero tolerance policy on cannabis.

“I guess I’m poking the bear a little,” he said, explaining that if he’s going to be treated like a caricature by the media, then he might as well play up to it.

The response from his parliamentary colleagues, however, has been “overwhelmingly positive” since he started sending out his Christmas cards in 2021, he said: “They’re actually a collector’s item now.”

But at the core of the light-hearted festive fun is a deeper message, Dr Walker said.

The words ‘For WA, $1.25B’ emblazoned on the treasure chest reference an economic case written by UWA academic Mohammad Farhad about the benefits of legalising cannabis in WA.

The report was commissioned by Dr Walker and published in May this year.

The crux of the findings is that WA could benefit from an extra $240 million per year ($1.25 billion over forward estimates) by applying licensing fees and a 25 per cent tax rate to a regulated cannabis industry, and by saving on policing and court costs from an about-turn on the current system of prohibition.

“Nine decades of negative propaganda pushing the narrative that cannabis is bad for health and morality has prevented rational scientific evaluation of what is essentially a healthy healing herb that can, like much of nature, be abused,” Dr Walker explains in the report’s foreword.

“On the one hand we have excellent science behind the endocannabinoid system and the effects on health, but on the other hand the political establishment demands a financial rationale before it will seriously consider legalisation.

“This is the first, comprehensive economic analysis to take into account all aspects of cannabis reform from a financial perspective, and the importance of the report for us in Western Australia is clear.

“If we had sensible laws and increased revenue we could do better. We could have a safer, less violent, and happier community.”

The Serpentine GP said his party is currently working on “solidifying” a range of policy areas where revenue collected from a hypothetical legalised and regulated cannabis industry in this state could be spent to improve the “physical, mental and social wellbeing” of West Australians.

“Not only do we have good ideas, we know how to fund them. We’re hoping to alert people to the serious work we’re doing – we’re not just about cannabis,” he said.

Among the ideas currently being circulated are improvements in homelessness support, emergency services support, and a possible Royal Commission into the “failing health services”.

Dr Walker said he’s “expectant” that support for his party will increase at the next election.

“I’m strongly of the opinion that the crossbench will have a pivotal place in the next government,” he said.

“And once people realise what we’re all about, I’m hopeful it will increase our numbers.”

The 2021 card that started it all.