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June 3, 2023

Critics slam police cannabis claims

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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)

Police have been accused of inflating the value of cannabis plants seized during annual helicopter raids, and of taking ‘medicine’ away from sick people.

NSW Police issued a media release this week saying that $20 million worth of cannabis plants had been seized during the 2015/16 ‘Cannabis Eradication Program’.

Police seized plants in the Richmond, Mid North Coast, Manning Great Lakes, Tweed/Byron and Coffs/Clarence local area commands.

Police said the total number of cannabis plants seized during program this year was 10,705, with an estimated potential street value of $21.4 million.

Nimbin HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone. (file pic)
Nimbin HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone. (file pic)

Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the figures were unrealistic.

‘The police trot out the same old very tired lines that surely need a rewrite,’ he said.

‘Like, “that’s $20 million dollars that won’t be boosting the profits of drug dealers and thousands of cannabis plants that won’t be sold in the community”.

‘For a start every seedling is valued at $2,000 and as we know the male plants are worthless, kangaroos eat some, the wet may rot half of the rest, or its eaten by grubs or two legged pests steal it, and so on.

‘These police are clearly not gardeners and these twisted statistics are only to justify their funding for next season’s raids I suspect.

‘Time to review this waste of money Mr Premier.’

Commander of the Drug Squad, detective superintendent Tony Cooke, said the cannabis eradication program was ‘a key component of the NSW Police Force’s efforts to remove illicit drugs from the community and target criminals who profit from peddling those drugs.’

‘The cultivation of cannabis is a crime and we make no apologies for targeting an illicit drug and those who knowingly break the law by growing or supplying it,’ det supt Cooke said.

‘All illicit drugs cause immeasurable harm in our community and we will continue to use this program and a suite of other strategies to target drug supply.’

But Mr Balderstone said the police were creating problems for people using cannabis as medicine.

‘Those people will be spending their cash for the next year on buying their medicine of choice and actually boosting the profits of drug dealers who must love the annual raids which ensure their indoor chemically enhanced hydroponic pot keeps dominating the market place.

‘Do the police realise taking peoples’ medicine puts a huge hole in one’s weekly income? ‘Often it’s the kids who miss out when a family’s weed is taken.

‘Why do they think so many pot smokers are poor? If you can’t grow your own it’s a very expensive medicine, considering we could all grow our own in the backyard if only we were allowed.’

Mr Balderstone said on one hand the government was keen to investigate medical cannabis, while on the other it was fighting the people already supplying it.

‘If only the new respect for cannabis’s medical properties stretched a bit to include the actual users of the medicine we might start getting somewhere but the police banter is all the same tired old press releases word for word …  the same for years it seems.

‘Like, “all illicit drugs cause immeasurable harm in our community”. Yeah right, tell that to those thousands of epileptics now seizure free.’






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  1. Did you know that marijuana is a vegetable? Yup – it’s true.
    The marijuana plant’s leaves and buds are actually loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds. These compounds are known as cannabidiols (CBD) and they make marijuana, cannabis, or whatever you want to call it, a superfood.

    Yup – it’s true. But when heated, all of that goodness evaporates – it goes up in smoke and is blown away. Instead, be blown away by the health benefits of juicing the raw marijuana plant.

    When heated the psychoactive compound – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – is released from the plant. Most people don’t want medicine to get “high” though. Our bodies were made to receive cannabidiols and the plant does not need to be heated to get these healing properties. We have cannabinoid receptors built-in to our bodies. Getting CBD into your body can normalize functional systems like cell communication and immune functions. This means that the systems that make up your body, from cells to organs, will talk to each other better, have a better understanding of what’s going on, and help to clean things up. It’s like a good relationship – both people should talk to each other and work with each other to keep the house clean.

    And with cannabinoid receptors in our brains and pretty much no other way to get cannabidiol, marijuana seems to be the perfect medicine to ensure our bodies are working at peak performance. Major league sports would disagree.

    CBDs bridge the gap of neurotransmission in the central nervous system by providing a two-way system of communication that completes a positive “feedback loop” says Dr. William Courtney, a medical marijuana expert and founder of Cannabis International. This is instead of a one-way transmission which promotes chronic inflammation. To find out more visit https://www.coloradopotguide.com/colorado-marijuana-blog/2015/august/20/why-juicing-marijuana-is-the-next-big-thing/ “Cannabis Prohibition costs. It costs the community money, it costs you your health, it costs you your friends, it costs you your family, and ultimately it will cost you your life”

  2. I’d like to know the monetary cost of this annual operation. Air operations are not cheap, then you have the overtime, new jackboots and all the admin bull dust…

    I wonder how much might otherwise be used for fighting corruption, better training, more police, combating domestic violence etc…

  3. Governments today are a joke! The police just do they’re bidding & if I were a cop I’d sooo much prefer getting paid to traipse through the bush & my mates’ backyards gathering up that illicit gravely dangerous noxious hemp weed than being a desk jockey or driving the beat. Bush whacking would be heaps better!

    A total farcical is this drug surveillance. I’ve heard the same tired “War on Drugs” crap for decades so much so that I’m oblivious to it, that’s how effective it is!! Also I have witnessed time & again over four decades the increased use in the synthetic deadly drugs of ice, amphetamines & coke. In the spreading of these more sinister damaging drugs the Police have vigilantly been successful & is this how I’ve wanted my hard earnt, up to $30 000 taxes per year utilised?? NO!!! Do I agree with it? NO! Is it an appropriate way to deal with our citizens who use hemp? NO! I’m so so so over this bs!!

  4. When the people realise that the drug war on cannabis is nothing more than a sick, greed driven collusion between governments and big business to keep this amazing herb from them, and that millions of their brothers and sisters on this planet have suffered and died because of this unholy collusion the governments and their minions will need to seek shelter from the storm! Make no mistake this has been a crime against humanity to rate with any other, and just to fill the pockets of the few! Don’t imagine because you pull on a uniform or suit that you’ll be immune from the consequences of treating your brothers and sisters like this. All over the world people are successfully treating “incurable” cancer, and this information has been known and suppressed for decades. Stop playing evil games government, stop “doing your duty” police, start treating your brothers and sisters better, your souls depend on it. I share this with you with love! The time for changes are now.

  5. Cannabis prohibitionists used every historically discredited lie, half-truth and propaganda they could muster, and then we voted. Like Colorado, the majority of Australia citizens also support ending cannabis prohibition. But without the initiative process available to voters, government subsidized cannabis prohibitionists will continue ignoring citizens.

    A sane or moral reason does not exist to continue punishing and caging responsible adults who use the relatively safe, extremely popular, God-given plant as described on literally the very first page of the Bible.

  6. As youth worker for past twenty years I am totally frustrated and disgusted at the massive amount of harm prohibition causes, far outweighing any “positives” [if any].
    Australia21 group’s publication “Prohibition is Killing and Criminilising our Youth and we are all letting it happen” outlines this, -title says it all.

  7. Totally agree with Mr Balderstone. It must be easier to get promoted busting “drugs” than solving crime cases. For busting drugs, you just need to be a bully, the bigger the better. For solving crime cases you need a brain, the smarter the better. Perhaps these police officers should invest (using their bonuses) in the agricultural futures market to get a better understanding of the future value of crops.

  8. Duncan Gay, a wool classer and trucking company owner. Mike Baird, investment banker and accountant. Andrew Scipione, a management delegator. Troy Grant, a career cop.

    Funny, I don’t see any drug or medicine expertise in any shape or form in their backgrounds and yet they currently hold office and are trying to control the lives of millions of people in an area they know nothing about. And somehow they are experts?

    Instead of looking after people with ailments by allowing them to have the medicine they need, we have Grant on the drawing board working out how to twist the law to allow for mass punishment, Scipione delegating the work load to local cops and sniffer dogs, Baird banking all our hard earned cash and Gay looking like an idiot defending their corrupt regime on TV.

    Their absence from the latest drug summit in canberra is a testament to how lost and out of touch they really are when it comes to drugs.

    This point is even more clear with Duncan Gay claiming that cocaine is only detectable for 6 minutes.

    I personally wouldn’t trust these idiots to run a department store let alone a state.

  9. Prohibitionists are fundamentally opposed to everything that can be subsumed under social progress. The struggle for life, liberty, and justice often begins where rulers or governments abuse their power. If you are a prohibitionist then you no longer work for the good of the people. To suppress and torment individuals for their personal tastes, interests or affiliations is nothing but plain fascism.

  10. The real reason cannabis is prohibited, is because it presents an organic, sustainable, non-toxic alternative to powerful vested interests, including alcohol, tobacco and, in particular, the pharmaceutical industry, that Prof. Peter Gotzsche exposes in his 2013 book ‘Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare.’ Both major political parties take bribes – ‘donations’ – from this toxic trio, and shamefully do their bidding.

    Shamefully too, police officers who gravitate to drug squads seem to be ill-informed, prejudiced and/or to get their kicks out of smashing down front doors and destroying other peoples property and possessions, stealing their plants and charging them with criminal offences. And your government abuses taxpayers money to pay them to do so.

  11. Well I can give you an example of canibis as the best medicine.
    Unfortunatly 33 years ago I was run over by an 12 tonne sand truck, not my fault.
    I spent 2years in the spinal unit having my spine rebuilt.
    The medicos did a good job and I can actually walk but can’t feel my legs except when my back muscles go into spasm they constrict my sciatic nerves causing no. 10 pain sciatica in my leg ( top on the list for worst pain a human can have).
    Last week I had an attack. The Dr gives me the strongest pain killers which I took but unless I come close to overdose don’t work so well with my condition ,there are no more chemist drugs after these I can use.
    I stopped using canabis because of the risk of being pulled over and fined etc a week after using it for an attack.
    I literally screamed my head off for two days into the attack ( I wonder what the neighbours think?) Finally I thought I don’t care and had one smoke, it worked, I sleept for the first time in 2 days, it relaxed the spasm out of my back and the attack was over in 4 days rather than the 3 weeks if I go to hospital and have injections of strongest medical drugs.

    • Well Dr. Whoo that’s a lifestyle choice isn’t it? I’m 67 years of age and have smoked for 40 odd years. In that time I have owned two businesses raised a family and had no problems because I smoked cannabis. Some people have an addictive nature so if it’s not one thing it’s another. They make that choice. I chose for myself what path I follow.

  12. I think that it is an absolute disgrace that ailing citizens of this planet have been denied the help they deserve due to avaricious corporations consorting with corrupt politicians of varying political leanings over many years to prevent them receiving appropriate treatment from the cannabis plant. The thought of these scientists of the past along with those of recent times having researched and shown evidence that displays cannabis to be efficacious in so many ways just to be ignored, denigrated and ridiculed and in some cases persecuted just makes my blood boil. To think other “scientists” in the pay of the drug manufacturing corporations have unconscionably ignored this evidence and produced their (and their employer’s) version of evidence to deny the truth. Of course they would, as the old adage (he who’s bread I eat, who’s song I sing) certainly rings true.
    Particularly galling now here in Australia where after years of lobbying to have medicinal cannabis legalised is finally getting results, is the fact that our governments are NOW making out as if this has been all their doing. No reference or acknowledgment is being given to the various groups who have worked tirelessly for years to persuade our governments to take up the research and legalise medicinal cannabis. Just go out and PROSECUTE people who are growing and manufacturing the medicine that is proof that it works and labelling them criminals. Shame, shame shame.

    Furthermore the refusal to decriminalise the growing, possession and/or personal use of cannabis but moving to further prosecute our citizens for using this medicine is an unconscionable crime.
    A citizen should be able to grow this plant for themselves and use it for it’s medicinal purposes.

    So I grow this plant, I make the medicine from this plant and I administer it to myself and the government wants to prosecute me for that. Why? Who is the victim of such action? Me? That’s my choice. The government is concerned for my wellbeing? I think not. What effects will I suffer from administering this medicine to myself? At worst NOTHING. At best the relief and perhaps cure of my ailment. Anything in between is still a win. Oh but wait. The government has classified this plant as a poison. What a sham. At this rate they can classify a dandelion plant as a poison if they wish. Oh but they would need evidence to show that the dandelion was poisonous they will say.
    Well then I say PRODUCE the evidence that SHOWS cannabis to be a poison.

    I say to our governments:

  13. Cannabis teaches man how to farm. Discovery of Australia doesnt happen without cannabis, any old sail just tore up in the strongest storm winds. That would be 80 ton of Hemp. From what I understand, You cant farm land for very long successfully without rotating Hemp crops. WTF? Where it all begins. And you need way more than 240 years farming culture on fertile land to know that much. The first Farms in Asia were cleared hemp fields, still being farmed today 5000 years later.. You cant learn this much in 230 years.

    Look for ya selves, With a million ton of cotton rotting off our clothelines every year, Yipppee, we need more cotton. NOT.


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