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Byron Shire
June 1, 2023

Cannabis cops seize Mullumbimby Showgrounds

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A police officer with cannabis photographed during a previous northern rivers raid. (supplied)
A police officer with cannabis photographed during a previous northern rivers raid. (supplied)

Hans Lovejoy

As part of the NSW government’s seemingly endless war on a plant with proven medicinal benefits, NSW police took control of the Mullumbimby Showgrounds on Thursday and Friday. The police based a helicopter on the grounds, along with personnel for the Byron Shire annual ‘cannabis eradication’ festivity.

Harry, the Mullumbimby Showgrounds manager, told The Echo that police did not previously advise of their intention, or ask if they could use the grounds.

$1.5m plants seized

While costings on the operation are unavailable, police claim that more than $1.5 million worth of cannabis plants were seized. They say a total of 759 plants were found, with a potential street value of $1,518,000. That values each plant at $2,000, regardless of its size.

Additionally, no one was charged. Police say the helicopter searched Main Arm, Skyline Road, Palmwoods, Mullumbimby and Koonyum Ranges.

And while police say the plants were destroyed on Friday, February 12, there is no confirmation of that claim from an independent body.

The Echo asked NSW police media why they did not ask permission for use of the showgrounds and what legislation they are operating under to use Crown land without permission. There was no reply by deadline.

Reserve Trust committee member and Byron Shire councillor Duncan Dey (Greens) told The Echo he was unaware the police used the grounds and said that he understood that Crown lands could only be used in emergency situations.


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  1. NSW police are acting like gangsters these days. Over the top agro policing, sniffer dogs everywhere, roadside drug testing increased and still no reduction in drugs or drug use. Surely this method of operations and targeting certain types of people is an expensive failure? Why not only target the mr bigs, the importers and the producers, what good is targeting end users and busting people for an ounce of weed or a few pills really doing? It’s making more people into criminals for doing things that people have done for a very long time. Criminalising people for small amounts of drugs is insane. Why on earth are we still doing this?

    That police minister on 4 corners the other night was lying about pill testing and deaths in the Netherlands to suit his own agenda on the war on drugs. He seemed very arrogant and ignorant. Troy Grant I believe his name is. I hope your time is numbered. You narrow minded views are killing people who could be saved, all you’d have to do is stop the sniffer dogs and allow pill testing. And basically stop targetting end users of drugs.

    The rest of the world is trying to reduce harm to its citizens and relaxing it’s laws on drug use and here we are in NSW the major police state which is making us an international laughing stock.

    Time to get some new people in power who aren’t so power hungry and controlling (and ultra conservative). All this stuff, especially the cannabis eradication program, sniffer dogs and saliva tests (for only 3 drug types?) is a very expensive failure that the police are constantly trying to justify with inflated prices from busts, but everyone knows those busts are not making even the slightest dents in availability of any of the types of drugs.

    The police wont to seem like they are doing well because they continually wont more funding for more man power and more toys, well isn’t it time we stopped this madness? As if we need such huge amounts of police and sniffer dogs. These people need to be reeled in, they are out of control and ruining lives.

  2. Meanwhile a drunken lout is bashing his terrified partner – and the police are nowhere to be seen. They’re too busy, wasting their time and our taxes, barging uninvited into the show-grounds, counting the cannabis plants they’ve just stolen.

    And they expect the public to respect them?

  3. This is madness. Over 30 years the public health approach toward tobacco use has been extremely effective in reducing the number of people smoking and the cost of this approach has been miniscule. Compare this to the abject failure of the criminalization approach to cannabis. Use has sky-rocketed over the same period, potency has intensified and scarce resources wasted on expensive and pointless operations like this.

    It doesn’t work and it is a waste of money. The public health approach works. Stop wasting our money and invest in public health.

  4. I wish them one day to be in need of this medicine and not have access to it . Destroying the plants ,they
    destroy themselves and other people lives.They should have no rights to do it. Ignorants and stupids.
    Extraterestials should deal with them.

  5. People need to remember that the ambitions, intent and modes of operation of Police agents are subject to the will of the Executive arm of GovCo. They are the “Enforcement” arm of the Executive. Whilst being individually responsible for their actions each Police agent is a tool of the Executive. In this case that is Mike Baird and his Ministerial colleagues. The Executive need to consider two basic questions. Are they acting within the Law ? Are they managing the Policing Function in the best interests of the People ?

  6. All the while operating under Corporate Legal ‘Acts’, etc, that Dont Apply to Man.
    God gave Man the full use of the ‘Common-Wealth’ of the Earth, including ALL of its Plants.
    Man made Guvmints. Man is Superior to Guvmints. So Guvmints made ‘Persons’, and hoodwinked Man into believing Himself to be the Inferior, ‘Person’, thus unknowingly handing Jurisdiction to Guvmints, and ITs Armed Policy Enforcers. Fraud in the Inducement.
    Stand as Man. Whatever ‘Plants’, you make use of are by your God-given Rights, Your ‘Property’.
    Guvmints, Policy Enforcers, Persons/Corporations can only operate in ‘Contract Law’, and cannot Contract with Man without Mans’ specific Consent to give up His Man Status, and ‘BE’, the Person.
    Decline their Offers to Contract. Ask to see the Original Contract whereby You/Man, agreed to abide by their Corporate Acts, etc. They dont have it, because it doesnt exist.
    Policy Enforcing is Racketeering, and Peonage, masquerading as, ‘Law Enforcement’.
    Removal of ‘Your Property’, by anyone, is Stealing.

  7. At $2000 per plant, I’m sure there are a lot of growers who would like the Police to distribute their crop. What a lot of crap!

    • $2k isn’t even one pound! Usually the retail value is $3k / lb and any decent grower can get 4 – 5 per plant – so that’s more in the region of $15k per!

  8. Jo and Gordon are spot in.

    I have been lucky in retirement to be able to travel extensively and nowhere in the world is like the Australian, (particularly NSW Byron area) police state. In England you never see RBT and hardly a police patrol. No one has dreamt up spit testing. There is no differentproblem there of drink driving or any difference in drug use. Limit is .08 not .05 and the road toll is the same as Australia.What is the state scared of?
    All through Europe, UAE Oman &South East Asia the same applies.

    The massive police actions achieve nothing except to drive me out of nasty, aggressive, paranoid, refugee bashing Australia at every opportunity and I will go for good if I can.

    What happened to the self image of the anti-authority wild colonial boys.Very few I know have the guts to speak up.

  9. I don’t need to write much on this as Gordon and Jo have fully expressed similar views to my own. Question: how do we stop this trail of madness which is supported only by a minority and how do we oust Grant?

    • Well Graham,
      As you may have guessed by now, cannabis is a perfectly natural herb,provided by god or Ghia.
      However, in order to advantage the American Pharmaceutical Industry, all signatories to treaties with America are forced to adopt American law, which outlaws anything deemed not to be in the interest of their industries. Therefore it is illegal to possess Hemp(not of course Canberra or South Australia ) even though most states in the good ol’USA have legalised or are considering doing so.
      Of course this herb is NOT addictive in any way physically. People do tend to repeat pleasurable experiences though, so is is probably similar to using the Internet. I’m not sure I’d recommend either alternative for a ten year old.

    • Graham if you dont know the answers to your questions you really do need help….and your assertion that your 10 year old daughter was approached last week I find so questionable that I strongly suspect a trolls lie

  10. this year, 2016, we will win the 40 year war on drugs…this year is the year…for sure….yo…that fluoride is kicking in too now…

  11. The only remedy I can see is, what about a good old “smoke in” ?,
    A couple of thousand new age citizens ( in the same vein as the ‘knitting Nannas’ )
    Could descend on courthouses and police stations across the state , while actively inhaling and demanding that the laws are irrelevant and must be revoked or all present be arrested immediately !
    This must be covered by all the press possible and uploaded to all websites, in this way the police would be forced to act or if not explain why they stand by, while people go about enjoying their lives willy-nilly. The week following Easter would be a likely occasion for such a peaceful frolic, I’ll come, will you ?

  12. Good on the cops! I’m all in favour of drug busts wherever they occur, at airports, seaports, the hinterlands, wherever.

    We see the carnage on the roads caused by drugs and alcohol every week, and yet, still the apologists and druggies find excuses to blame the police for doing what they have to, to keep our community safe.

  13. My concern is one of illegal activity from the police themselves. Is it not true that The Mullum Showgrounds from where these raids took place is Crown land?? and is it not illegal for police to take over such territory other than in the case of an emergency????? Is this yet another simple but valid abuse of power….remember coppers are first and foremost public servants and are bound by the same laws as you or I. I hope the Echo follow up on this angle.

  14. David Shoebridge said many interesting things up here last week including that the nsw attorney general used to rule over the police commissioner and minister for police, but now its the other way around!

  15. The drugs laws as they stand are illogical and ill-informed. It should never have been illegal to put any substance into one’s body. However if a person does put a substance into their body that causes them to harm, damage or abuse others including animals, then THAT must be the illegal action, not the ingestion of any substance what so ever. To outlaw a herb such as comfrey and cannabis is absurd and ignorant.

  16. I believe that the police do not have compulsory drug tests, if that’s true its a worry. They have cars,tasers & guns
    All people in dangerous jobs must have tests for all illicit drugs and alcohol a we all know. Pleas inform us if police do also


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