Video Sharon Shostak, report Darren Coyne
It takes a lot to anger the peaceful folk of Nimbin, but when it happens, they come out smoking and dancing.
In response to recent police raids on the village, the Nimbin Action Group organized a peaceful pot protest which saw about 100 people ‘storm’ the local police station on Saturday, brandishing musical instruments and joints.
But without the back-up of the 70-odd officers who swept through the village following the recent fire which gutted iconic buildings, local police chose the path of least resistance by being conspicuously absent from the station.
Some reported that a pair of eyes were seen sneaking a peek through the closed shutters of the station, but this could not be confirmed as no police answered the emergency intercom despite repeated requests from protestors.
Many Nimbin businesses closed their doors in support of the protest action.
Organiser Sophia Hoeben said the police actions had terrorized visitors and villagers, who were still shocked by the fire which destroyed ‘the heart’ of Nimbin’.
Ms Hoeben accused police of being rude and aggressive, and said villagers were not terrorists, they were ‘Terra-ists’, because ‘we love and cherish the earth’.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said it was a matter of human rights.
‘The cops are using the illegality of this herb to belt us. Thank God it’s now on the government’s agenda (the possibility of de-criminalisation),’ he said.
Meanwhile, medicinal cannabis advocate and producer Tony Bower told Echonetdaily that an announcement was expected this week from the Federal government regarding medical cannabis.
But Mr Bower warned that even if medicinal cannabis was approved, lawmakers had to realize that it would be difficult to meet the demand.
With about 200 people taking his tincture, Mr Bower said he had more than 10,000 on his waiting list alone.
‘We’re going to need a massive amount to meet that market,’ he said.
‘The government doesn’t have a choice really. The reality is they couldn’t look after it if they tried.
‘I know what we’re capable of doing and I’m set up with 120 Aboriginal land councils and they’re ready to go.
‘The demand in America is so great that they’re trying to ship it in.’
Mr Bower said once medicinal cannabis was decriminalised, and its supply and distribution was sorted, it would create an ‘incredible industry’ which would create jobs and stimulate the economy.
‘The country will never see anything like this again,’ he predicted.