Nimbin’s Hemp Embassy is urging people to turn out on Monday for a protest against drug-driving laws as police ramp up yet another ‘road safety’ operation in the region.
The protest will be held outside the Lismore police station, and follows numerous incidents of local people being caught with traces of cannabis in their system, but no evidence of impairment.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the protest was an opportunity for the local community to voice their concerns about the drug-testing regime.
‘We would love a big turn out at this protest outside the Lismore police station as a lot of people are really angry about this new saliva testing,’ he said.
‘We get phone calls every day at the HEMP Embassy from upset people who have lost their licence and sometimes their job as well.
‘There will be speakers at the protest telling their stories and others are welcome.’
‘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 its 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.’
Meanwhile, police have announced they are carrying out yet another ‘road safety’ operation in the Northern Rivers region for the next six weeks.
Operation Arrive Alive, a six-week state-wide high-visibility Traffic and Highway Patrol operation, kicks off today at 12.01am (18 December 2015). The operation will run until Tuesday (26 January 2016).
As part of Operation Arrive Alive, double demerit points will apply for speeding, mobile phone use, seatbelt and helmet use. Double demerits will apply from 24 December 2015 to January 3 2016 and from 22 January 2016 to to 26 January 2016 inclusive.