Legalize Cannabis MP Sophia Moermond’s memorable first speech to Parliament full of surprises

Headshot of Jackson Barrett
Jackson BarrettAugusta Margaret River Times
Sophia Moermond made a memorable maiden speech in parliament last week.
Camera IconSophia Moermond made a memorable maiden speech in parliament last week. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian, Nic Ellis

Some may call it bizarre, others may find it inspiring, but newly-elected Legalise Cannabis Party member for the South West Sophia Moermond’s maiden speech to Parliament last week was undeniably one to remember.

Ms Moermond, pictured, who has qualifications in Western, Western alternative and Eastern medicine, was a practising naturopath before entering politics.

She was one of two Legalise Cannabis Party candidates to win an Upper House seat, with Brian Walker also elected.

Ms Moermond opened her speech by describing her shock when she received the news of her surprising election.

“My initial reaction to being elected was one of surprise and shock,” she said.

“After becoming used to the idea I have found myself changing and evolving into this new life path.

“I am aware of the opportunity, the extraordinary honour, the privilege that has been provided me, and I am humbled by this.”

Ms Moermond said despite being first exposed to cannabis during high school in Perth, it was while studying in Amsterdam, the place of her birth, that she was made aware of its medicinal values.

“Some of the more experienced nurses would subtly hint for chemo patients to get their friends or family to bring a joint and go outside and smoke it,” she said.

“Those who did would come back happier, with less pain, no nausea and an appetite.

“That was 30 years ago, think of all the suffering that this herb could have reduced in the meantime.”

Having endured her own health battles, Ms Moermond said she was “grabbing life by the ovaries” and “living her best life ever”.

She also claimed her advocacy for the legalisation of cannabis had also led to her building a profile both at home and abroad.

“Cannabis regulation trends are followed globally by campaigners and other interested parties,” she said.

“Consequently, I am not just somewhat famous here, I have also gained some notoriety on an international level.”

Despite being voted in on a very specific platform, Ms Moermond said there was much more she could bring to the table.

“I am the first person and thus the first woman to have been voted in on a legalise cannabis platform alone,” she said.

“There are many areas I’m passionate about — apart from legalising cannabis — mental healthcare, housing and homeless, domestic violence... through to regenerative agriculture.”

Before closing on a reference to Charles Darwin, Ms Moermond admitted her speech had been “more philosophical than most, and certainly less political than many”.

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