On the verge of the 2012 MardiGrass Cannabis Law Reform Protest in Nimbin the HEMP Party (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) in Australia has announced it has 2012 members.
‘This is a significant milestone’, said Graeme Askey, Secretary of the Party. ‘We have now come of age as a movement. We are now a mainstream Political Party.
‘When even right wing commentators like Alan Jones have been won over it is difficult to argue that the Party is no longer just a party. We’re looking forward to the next federal election and hope to run Senate candidates in each state.’
The 20th MardiGrass on this weekend is riding a wave of public attention generated by the recent release of the Australia21 Illicit Drug Report. Throughout the event there will be particular attention paid to the recommendations they made. One of the contributors to the report, Dr Alex Wodak, will be attending along with cannabis activists from Europe, the United States and Canada.
‘They can make us green with envy telling stories of how they have legal access to their favourite herb,’ says Michael Balderstone, speaking on behalf of the MOB (MardiGrass Organising Body).
‘There are about 100 backpacker volunteers here now helping with fences and cooking and rolling thousands of legal joints for the world record attempt at the number to be lit at once in the Mass Enlightenment after the Kombi Konvoy arrives at 4.20pm Saturday afternoon.
‘And the weather looks terrific for the HEMP Olympix which opens at midday Saturday with the Tug o’ Drug War on the big hemp rope between the Polite Service and the Police Force, before the Growers Iron Person Event and the Bong Throw get under way.’
The Big Sunday Rally and March for sanity on drug use will be led by Aboriginal elders as usual and for the first time there will be a forum at MardiGrass titled Yarndi in Goori Communities, to discuss the impact prohibition has had on their culture.