Activists are questioning police results that indicate one in four drivers tested for drugs in the region had tested positive.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone has called for a breakdown on the results to find out which drugs are being detected.
‘Is is cannabis, amphetamines or MDMA?’ Mr Balderstone has asked.
‘I bet it’s mostly cannabis … and there is no evidence at all that small amounts of cannabis in your saliva impair driving.’
APN media reported this week that statistics from the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command revealed the Richmond LAC had one of the highest rates of positive tests in the state, while in the adjoining Tweed Byron command almost one in five drivers tested positive for illicit drugs.
Inspector Stephen Blair of the NSW Police Random Drug Testing Unit told APN that Richmond LAC officers conducted over 5,200 roadside drug tests (RDTs) resulting in 1270 drivers returning a positive result.
That equates to 24.42 per cent of drivers, or almost one in four, returning positive tests for illicit drugs.
Mr Balderstone described the testing regime as a scam designed to stop people from using drugs, which had nothing to do with driver impairment.
He has raised the issue in the lead-up to a protest that will take place outside Lismore MP Thomas George’s office on Monday at 11am.
‘We plan on presenting him with a letter and a copy of the book Chasing the Scream which explains well the origins of the war on drugs and will ask him to pass it on to his National Party leader Troy Grant, the ex-policeman who is now NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and the Police,’ he said.
‘A Baptist, Mr Grant has been outspoken in his enthusiasm for the drug testing but we reckon he still believes the ‘Reefer Madness’ propaganda of old.’
Mr Balderstone said designated drivers were being organised to ensure that protesters going to Lismore for Monday’s protest were not picked up by police for having cannabis in their system.
He said the HEMP Embassy would have drivers available at 10am.
He said no other country was conducting roadside drug tests like in Australia, just as no other country has banned hemp seed.
‘Medical cannabis users across Australia need to lobby and educate their local MPs about how this issue affects them,’ he said.
Mr Balderstone said there was plenty of evidence that cannabis stayed in people’s system for days, ‘even months’, because it is fat soluble.
‘I wouldn’t even be surprised if the accident rate goes up because of these tests,’ he said.
‘Occasional cannabis users are giving up weed and mostly from what we hear drinking more alcohol while some are turning to pharmaceuticals or cocaine even, which is not tested.
‘Others will use ice or chems which are well out of your system next morning as they know cannabis may get detected days after smoking.’