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Byron Shire
December 10, 2023

Annual police cannabis raids on again

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Five years ago…  

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The dope squad base at Uki earlier this week. (supplied)

Growers beware. The dope squad is back in the air.

As part of its annual cannabis eradication program, NSW police have once again sent their ‘cannabis cowboys’ into battle against the easiest of targets – the region’s outdoor cannabis growers.

Reports indicate that the dope squad has set up base at both Mullumbimby and Uki this week, and more raids are expected to follow.

The raids, which have long been controversial in a region that prides itself as being on the forefront of medical cannabis activism, have a huge impact on people trying to grow their own ‘medicine’.

Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone, who is this morning in Sydney with cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam, said the raids terrorised local communities.

‘For year’s they’ve terrorised hippy communities with these tactics. It’s scary and like a war zone when the helicopter is buzzing over your house, scaring your children and animals,’ he said.

‘At the same time the government is spruiking a massive medical cannabis growing operation at Casino which will be owned by a Canadian company.’

Mr Balderstone said governments were sending mixed messages regarding cannabis.

‘Everytime (Federal Minister for Health) Greg Hunt goes on television saying that medical cannabis is legal we get a hundred calls at the Embassy from people asking where they can get hold of it,’ he said.

‘The truth is that our region has been a major supplier of medical cannabis for a long time and we all know that good medical cannabis needs to be grown organically outdoors.’

Meanwhile, according to reports on social media the police gathered yesterday at the Mulumbimby skate park,  Byron Street in Mullumbimby at 8.30am.

Local reports estimated that there were up to 30 police officers at the scene, dogs, 12 vehicles, a removalist type truck and then they heard a helicopter.

Echonetdaily spoke to crime manager for the Tweed Byron area, Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen, who said the report was ‘partially correct’ but that there would be no further comment today.

There were also reports of the police having been in Uki on the previous day, February 6.

The police media unit in Sydney said that it may be part of the cannabis eradication program.

Echonetdaily is currently waiting for a response to questions regarding the operation, its cost and other details from the police media unit in Sydney.

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  1. The entire illicit drugs industry, the 3rd largest on the planet, is dependant on cannabis being demonised. Wherever this plant stops being illegal the use of other drugs drops like a rock. Why take that hit to the pocket when you already own a perfectly serviceable political system to take care of business.

  2. Marijuana doesn’t lead to heavier drugs … lack of it does !

    The whole hydro industry was created after excessive raids on bush weed.

    Then of course, if your dealer hasn’t got pot, he’s got something else for you … perhaps a little nastier…

  3. Perhaps the community will now support the bill in NSW to legalise soon in early 2018? They did not in 2017. It legalises real cannabis for medicinal use patients, caregivers, oil makers, bypasses the TGA BS, and no need for GP prescriptions etc.

  4. Looks like a big win for the Canadian company plus killer prescription drugs.
    As Rossco says – pot does not lead to self-destruction but the lack of it does.
    Most of my current serious illnesses – vision, vascular, & a wad of neurological
    stuff demanding expensive attention will more than likely get worse due to
    the insane laws we’re told to abide by. Get a life. Go & raid the Government’s
    own pie-in-the-sky coffers.

  5. Legalize it, tax it, regulate it and turn it into an export industry and a massive employment opportunity that is already happening elsewhere. It will be a 20 billion dollar industry world wide by 2020, according to studies. Early adopter jurisdictions are already benefitting in Canada, Israel, the US, Uruguay amd this country could also ! Cannabis a herb used medicinally for thousands of years. Nobody has ever died from it. Many are being helped, and many more will be. Right now the Government at state and federal levels are pretending to allow medical access, but in fact only a very small number have been allowed (around 350 patients, nothing in a country of 24 mil- Canada has close to 300,000 with medical access, population of 35 mil). Everyday access is being deliberately restricted by bureaucrats. The only losers are big pharma and the alcohol industry. Politicians will pay a lot of attention to community pressure on this! contact your reps!

  6. NO …. I don’t think any government involvement in this except to assure quality & good service .. of CANNABIS supply ,,,, TREAT IT LIKE A TOMATO PLANT… THAT WILL MAKE SENSE TO THOSE WHO THINK ABOUT IT.


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