Growers (and farmers) beware … the choppers are in the air.
The police helicopter and its ground troops were spotted out Uki way earlier this week, with reports that their low-level surveillance for cannabis was again scaring livestock and children in the area.
A property owner along Blue Knob Road received a call while she was at work in Nimbin that almost 30 of her cattle had ended up on the road.
The cattle reportedly escaped through a barbed wire fence after being spooked by the choppers, with a number of the animals receiving injuries.
This morning, an Echonetdaily source has reported a large contingent of police – dressed in black t-shirts with ‘Police’ on the back – were congregating at Durrumbul Hall near Mullumbimby.
Further social media posts indicate properties in the Main Arm area were being buzzed mid-morning.
Tweed Byron Local Area Command has been contacted about the sighting but had not responded to a request for information prior to deadline.
Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the annual cannabis eradication program was ‘an incredible waste of money’.
‘They’re busting outdoor cannabis so everyone then has to rely on chemically-enhanced hydroponic cannabis grown by organized crime,” Mr Balderstone said.
‘This is happening in the same week that the Federal Government announces legislation that will allow the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
‘It’s hypocrisy and it’s a tragic waste of money. All they are doing is pushing more and more people onto harder substances like Ice.’
Mr Balderstone said police had scant regard for the people they were terrorizing.
‘If you don’t think it’s a drug war then you’ve never had the chopper flying low over your home,’ he said.
‘The animals freak out and the kids freak out but the police don’t take those concerns seriously.’
Police say the cannabis eradication program has seized and destroyed around $300 million worth of plants since the program was introduced in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, opposition continues to grow towards the NSW Police drug-driving regime following meetings in both Lismore and Nimbin this week.
At both forums, people questioned how on one hand the government was moving towards allowing medicinal cannabis, while on the other the police were continuing to harass drivers for having negligible amounts of cannabis in their system, despite no evidence of impairment.
Mr Balderstone said whenever medical cannabis was mentioned in the media the Nimbin Hemp Embassy received another 50 calls from people wanting to access medicine.
‘These are people with terminal illnesses or battling disease and yet they find it difficult to access good quality outdoor cannabis,’ he said.
‘It’s also clear that the hippies who have been breeding and growing cannabis for medical use for years are going to be cut out of the program and the police will continue to be gung-ho with their helicopters’.