11.7 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Hemp Embassy takes aim at police cannabis claims

Latest News

Butler Street Reserve checked for PFAS pollution

Authorities are checking the Byron Bay site for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS.

Other News

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Trainspotters

Jillian Spring, Billinudgel In the article –  At a gathering of trainspotters, 21/4/21 by David Lisle, re Tweed Council Rail...

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Independent councillor fact-checks housing supply in the Byron Shire

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey won approval from fellow councillors last week for a new reporting regime she says will offer clarification on dwellings approved in the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.

Cannabis plants being winched up by the police chopper during raids in February. (supplied)
Cannabis plants being winched up by the police chopper during raids in February. (supplied)

Police dope raids net ‘$22m’

But Hemp Embassy critical of the endless drug war 

A north coast police operation to ‘seize and destroy’ cannabis plants has just wrapped up for another year, with police reporting the Tweed Byron area as having the fewest number of crops discovered.

But the cost is unknown to the public; police have consistently refused to provide any operational figures and comes after a recent public meeting in Mullumbimby which highlighted the problems of a much harder drug, meth.

Both aerial and ground police ops are undertaken during the growing season from late spring to early autumn. Police say 1,469 plants were discovered in Tweed/Byron, 2,500 for Richmond, while New England was the ‘most prolific’ with a total of 4,860 plants.

And while police estimate the potential ‘street value’ at more than $22 million, critics have pointed out for many years that police regard seedlings as fully grown female flowering plants, which provides skewed statistics.

Commander of the drug squad, detective superintendent Tony Cooke, said the program will continue to be a major strategy for police to target outdoor cannabis crops.

‘It is also an invaluable tool for ongoing investigations into cannabis cultivation by the drug squad and local area commands across the state,’ Det Supt Cooke said. ‘Preventing large amounts of cannabis will have an impact on the availability of cannabis in these areas, disrupt the supply chain, and minimise the harm caused by the drug,’ he said.

But Michael Balderstone from Nimbin’s Hemp Embassy told The Echo, ‘They have driven ninety per cent of pot supply indoors to hydroponic growing, so there will be no disruption to supply. And no doubt some people will choose to use other more dangerous drugs now if their pot is gone as all illegal drugs are in the same black market.’

Fantasy figures

‘What they have taken is the outdoor organic bush medicines so sought after. Locals from communities here report two, three or four plants going at a time which is hardly commercial and in fact clearly personal.

‘It won’t stop these people using pot; they’ll just have to go to the black market if friends don’t help them. Their money figures are fantasy land trying to justify the expense of their ops and ensure they come back next year. My estimate is an average plant would yield two or three ounces – if that – when you take out the males and the mould, the thieves and the animals. And of course a huge amount is for personal consumption and never gets sold.

‘Fortunately the hippies love to share, so we look after each other on that score. I really think one of the best things we could do to deal with the popularity of ice is to re-legalise pot and let people grow a few personal plants.

‘Cannabis is very different from all the other illegal drugs in that the others are all processed and you’re not sure what you’re getting but pot is still in herbal form and you can see what you get.’

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Quarry comes up against the farmers of Bentley

You would need to be a pretty tough customer to come up against the Bentley farmers, yet, that is exactly what Rob and Sarah McKenzie, the operators of the Bentley Quarry, what they say is a local, family-operated business, are doing.

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.