Party aims to prove it’s not just blowing smoke

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Rockingham musician Darren Guthrie has taken a political stance in a bid to promote the legalisation of marijuana.

After a patch of depression and alcoholism three years ago, the 19-year-old said marijuana had helped him get his life back on track and believed it was a human right to use the cannabis plant whether it was for industrial, medicinal or recreational use.

Last year Mr Guthrie said he decided he wanted to support a cause while playing at music gigs across Perth and began supporting the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party of Australia.

His enthusiasm for the cause led Mr Guthrie to become the HEMP WA branch president.

“We need to respect one another’s human rights and basic freedoms as equal citizens,” he said.

Mr Guthrie said the legalisation of marijuana would have rules and limitations like any other substance and he encouraged residents to take time to research the topic.

“We need to throw out this preconceived idea that cannabis users are criminals,” he said. “We are not, we are regular citizens regular citizens that want to see a brighter, cleaner future just as much as anyone else.”

Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said although there were known medical benefits of marijuana, he did not believe there were enough to build a case for legalisation.

“There are a lot of side effects and I don’t know if there are enough benefits to argue it should be made legal,” he said.

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