Medical cannabis users are calling on police unions to ask their members whether they support the use of therapeutic cannabis.
The Australian Medical Cannabis Users Association has expressed outrage over the destruction of cannabis discovered in the northern rivers last week.
The Association said people were disgusted at the ‘blatant waste of taxpayers money as much as the senseless waste of these crops when the NSW government is grappling with supply issues’.
MCUA founder Gail Hester said law-abiding citizens would lose respect for the law if the police pressure on Nimbin continued.
‘Nimbin is fast becoming known as the medical cannabis capital of Australia,” she said.
‘I was appalled by such a high police presence, including a drug testing bus. It amounts to shooting fish in a barrel.
‘The govt promised compassion. It promised the terminally ill protection from the law. Where is it?
‘MCUA members from across Australia go to Nimbin looking for information. Terminally ill NSW patients seeking “safe” access to raw material under the TICS scheme, flock to Nimbin looking for “carers”.
‘Now they are forced to run this police gauntlet.’
The Echonetdaily reported last week that police had destroyed 2500 plants, which they valued at $5 million.
The helicopter raids coincided with an increased presence of police in the village, along with a drug testing bus.
Police reported on Monday that Operation Saturation, which runs until Wednesday, had detected 50 people, out of 328 tested, allegedly under the influence of illicit drugs.
Eleven of those drivers were detected in Lismore however police have not provided a further break-down of detections made in other areas.
MCUA member and former oncology nurse Octavia Ellis said police unions could be a strong voice in the battle for cannabis law reform.
‘Three state nursing unions have become patient advocates for the use of therapeutic cannabis – at possible risk to their careers- maybe the police should consider putting the issue to their membership?,’ Ms Ellis said.
Meanwhile, HEMP Embassy spoksman David Carr said it was hoped the increased police activity would not deter people attending the next medical cannabis workshop in Nimbin on 14 March.
‘We are over whelmed with inquiries and interest in these workshops – so much so, that we have confirmed one in Sydney on March 21st and plans are afoot for one in Melbourne soon after.” Mr Carr said.
‘Now that the public interest has been stirred by cannabis as possible medicine, its time our policy makers took this issue as seriously as their constituents do.’