A Lismore solicitor believes the local court system is being clogged up with drug driving cases which often lead to unfair results for people.
Solicitor Steve Bolt said many people were losing their licences despite the drug testing regime showing no impairment.
Mr Bolt spoke to Echonetdaily outside the court house as a group of protestors gathered to damn the road-side drug testing in the region.
Member’s of Nimbin’s Polite Force were on hand to carry out ‘impairment tests’ in an effort to show there are better ways to weed out bad drivers.
Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said in places like America there is no testing for impairment for cannabis users.
‘If you look like you are impaired you have to get out of the car and walk the line or stand on one foot,’ he said.
‘Yet a lot of people have lost their licences and a lot of daily cannabis users are not going out anymore because of this.’
Hemp farmer Andrew Kavasilas said the drug testing regime was holding back the lucrative hemp food industry in Australia.
‘The government is trying to get an industrial hemp industry happening, as well as medical cannabis, but all of this could be held up by the police because they say it effects their drug testing,’ he said.
‘People are also switching to other drugs.’
Karen Stuart told the gathering that her husband Simon took his own life almost three years.
‘The stigma he faced from family and employers took him to the point where he stopped smoking cannabis,’ she said.
‘His pain levels increased to that day when he decided he couldn’t do it anymore.’
She urged people to continue fighting the oppression, and to know their rights.
Organisers have argued that the drug-testing regime catches cannabis users however the tests do not determine that drivers are impaired in any way.
Just last week, 69 people fronted Lismore court charged with drug driving offences.
A common defence is that the driver may have smoked cannabis in the days prior to driving, or consumed hemp products.
Mr Balderstone said the thousands of daily cannabis users in Australia were now risking their their jobs whenever they drive ‘as the random tests are certainly random in whose saliva registers green or not’.
‘Some people can stub out a joint when the police pull them over and it doesn’t register while others may have had a toke the day before, or even not, and do register,’ Mr Balderstone said.
‘The government website’s advice says cannabis registers in your saliva from two to 10 hours afterwards, which doesn’t help much.
‘Clearly many drivers are choosing to use other drugs that are not tested for and that is harmful.’
‘There were 69 drug driving charges in Lismore court last Monday and truly, daily pot users – and there’s a lot of them – are feeling it big time.
‘The police were saliva testing on the Nimbin road again Friday and it’s definitely affecting tourism here as well as locals visiting Lismore, or even going out.
‘It’s not just losing your licence and maybe job, but it’s being exposed as a criminal cannabis user and being targeted further down the line.
‘There are thousands of north coasters who use cannabis daily like I do because we discovered its the medicine that works for us without any hangover or negative side effects.
‘It’s our choice of medicine. Many of us rarely drink alcohol or use pharmaceutical products. Give the police a break, drug use is a health issue.’