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Parliamentary Questions


Question Without Notice No. 572 asked in the Legislative Council on 31 August 2021 by Hon Sophia Moermond

Parliament: 41 Session: 1

CANNABIS — LEGALISATION

572. Hon SOPHIA MOERMOND to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I refer to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Drug statistics series no 32. According to the National drug strategy household survey 2019, more people said that they supported the legalisation of cannabis than opposed it—that is, 41 per cent compared with 37 per cent. It was also the first time that the proportion of Australians who supported cannabis being used regularly by adults was greater than the proportion who supported regular tobacco smoking—that is, 19.6 per cent compared with 15.4 per cent.

Are police resources better used in pursuit of more serious matters if adult use of cannabis were legalised; and, if not, why not?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Police.

The Western Australia Police Force has more resources than ever before. Last financial year, the McGowan government provided more than $1.5 billion in funding to the WA Police Force, and 950 extra police officers—a 15 per cent increase—are being recruited over four years with more than 350 officers recruited in 2020–21. Police apply these resources to investigate offences and enforce the laws of Western Australia.