Police claims that they have taken $7.5 million worth of marijuana out of circulation during recent raids in the Northern Rivers have not intimidated MardiGrass organisers.
The group has decided to up the ante at its annual event, labeling it a ‘Protestival’ and organising an extra rally in Lismore on 1 May as well as the traditional Nimbin event set for 5 and 6 May.
Hemp Embassy spokesperson Michael Balderstone told Echonetdaily the police raids will do little to reduce the amount of pot on sale or force up the price.
‘The bush pot they are “capturing” is the safest drug of all and will be replaced by far more dangerous substances, so in fact they are causing considerable damage in the community if only they would think it through,’ he said.
‘It’s a fact that cannabis supply has never been better for users as far as quality and price goes. Prices used to be seasonal but now it’s steady all year round and it’s a competitive market so quality is continually being improved. The war on cannabis is losing ground every day.’
Mr Balderstone questioned the tactic and cost of using police to enforce the mass removal and destruction of marijuana plants in the area.
‘Using the police against a civilian population is never a good policy and, believe me, a chopper over your house and grim looking cops with machetes strapped to their waists are not good for community relations. It’s an exercise in futility unless the raids are training for the police in some way,’ he said.
Mr Balderstone’s biggest criticism is not reserved for the police, however, but for the country’s politicians.
‘Why is Australia being left behind on drug law reform?’ he asks.
‘The Greens seem too spooked by the matter even though it is a social justice issue of paramount importance. Under our present antiquated political system, if the prime minister said, “let’s trial medical cannabis”, the opposition would hysterically scream, “she wants to give away heroin”.
‘The madness emanating from government and media over this issue is no different from the attitudes of the 1950s!’ he said.
Tickets for MardiGrass are on sale now on the group’s website: www.nimbinmardigrass.com.