A candidate in the new WA senate election says the state government should consider a Colorado-style “dope tax” to fund education

A candidate in Western Australia’s reprised senate election says Premier Colin Barnett should top up the state’s education funding by legalising and taxing marijuana.

Fiona Patten, the Sex Party candidate in the April 5 poll, said the Barnett government should consider following the example of Colorado in the United States by regulating marijuana to fund public schools.

The suggestion comes ahead of a state-wide teacher’s strike on April 1, which is set to close almost 100 schools.

“Under the new law in Colorado, which only recently came into effect, the first $US40 million earned through the excise tax goes directly towards building new schools,” Ms Patten said.

“A tax which didn’t exist last year is now being projected to raise over $US100 million with all of it being directed to education.”

Ironically, one of the Sex Party’s main micro-party rivals – the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party – is considered a potential outside chance to win a senate seat after making some canny preference deals.

But lead party candidate James Moylan, who lives in Queensland, was dealt a public relations blow earlier this week when he struggled to recall the name of the WA Premier, referring to him as “Barrett”.

He has also admitted he had no desire to become a politician.