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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Drug swab protest planned for Lismore

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A protest will be held outside Lismore Police Station on Monday.
A protest will be held outside Lismore Police Station on Monday.

Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy is organising a peaceful protest about the impact saliva testing drivers is having on cannabis users.

Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said organisers were expecting a large turn-out as ‘a lot of people are really angry about this new saliva testing’.

The protest will take place outside the Lismore Police Station from 10am on Monday, 21 December.

‘We get phone calls every day at the HEMP Embassy from upset people who have lost their licence and sometimes their job as well.

Echonetdaily reported last week that one in six drivers tested for drugs during a police operation in the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command returned positive readings.

It’s understood that another police blitz is expected to take place in the region from December 18 to January 3.

Mr Balderstone said Monday’s protest would enable people to share their experiences.

‘There will be speakers at the protest telling their stories and others are welcome,” he said.

‘The saliva cannabis test is for any amount no matter how minuscule and that means drivers who smoked a joint days before are being busted.

‘We all know it’s below the belt but the Deputy Premier and NSW Police Minister Troy Grant is an old school ex cop who thinks it’s illegal and that’s that.”

‘One consequence he may not have realised is that it encourages drivers to use other far more dangerous drugs that are out of your system and saliva by the next morning.

‘Cannabis is uniquely fat soluble and stays in our blood for months, our urine for weeks and our saliva for days.’

‘The saliva testing combined with sniffer dogs has dramatically altered drug use trends for the worse”

‘No other country is testing cannabis like this and no other country has prohibited eating hemp seed which the police maintain affects their tests. This has never been trialled or tested.

‘The new drug driver testing is a serious case of bullying by the police as they know Cannabis users can test positive days after using their medicine.’


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile cops are on meth at music festivals and probably other places. This system is so wrong and broken it’s not funny.

    Also what sux is people are driving around zonked out of their heads on heroin and prescription drugs and do not get detected with the current saliva tests. I’m pretty sure drivers on cannabis are safer than heroin or xanax or oxy/endone etc…So people wont drive stoned or drunk they’ll just use heroin or oxy contin etc how insane is this so called system the police are using?!?!

    Why are police targeting cannabis at all? It is one of the safest drugs that mellows people out. Way over due for the laws to be changed in regards to cannabis in this country.

  2. I would prefer that the protest concentrate on the psychotic damage to thousands of Australians who end up in psych wards around the country.

    • Sorry Dave,
      But there would be a lot less customers in ” psych wards around the country.” if people loosened up and had a therapeutic dose of the wonderful healing herb-Cannabis sativa.
      It’s the psychotic society that causes the harm experienced by these poor victims of our judgmental ,uncaring and ignorant, alcohol fueled,self righteous attitudes.
      Cheers ,G”)

  3. this has nothing to do with impairment, this is following and enforcing an ideology from the dark ages..people in our community loose their licensees because they consumed cannabis 3 or even 5 days ago ! Good for the folks using cocaine..it doesn’t show up…why do you think that would be left out of the testing ???…think twice…everyone back on the booze now, you are allowed to drive under the influence !!! and after all, booze is only the biggest drug killer in all societies worldwide.and you can use that drug and drive…hey..after all..its taxed…with forced vaccination arriving now too, the land of plenty is simply going into fascism, breaking again all human rights established….but first up on top of all..lets enjoy another war and have another drink…all is good..not !

  4. Please send out a reminder that this protest will be taking place. I for one have a tendency to forget, due to crazy schedule and build up to Xmas. If there is a website, or Facebook page it would be great to know. I have included my email so please don’t hesitate to inbox me. Thanks

  5. Prescription drugs do far more damage but any action against prescription drugs would upset the medical association and their earnings

  6. When we hear the stats for depression in this country and for numbers of people on antidepressants at any one time it has longtime been an awareness of mine that every third or fourth person on the road must be driving not totally clear in the head. Dope has been tested and proven to decrease reaction times but the devices Traffic Cops use have been proven unreliable. If I as a non smoker give you a smoker a hug and then drive and be tested and found positive. We are told any whiff on our clothes a small particle from smoke , or from touching from someone else shows us up as guilty.

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