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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Hemp Embassy president on drug driving charge

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Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.

The president of Nimbin’s Hemp Embassy, Michael Balderstone, has revealed he tested positive for cannabis during a recent random drug test (RDT) in the area.

Mr Balderstone, a lifelong cannabis advocate says he has yet to decide whether to fight the matter in court.

‘I haven’t even received the charge sheet yet,’ he told Echonetdaily.

But he described police conducting random drug tests in Nimbin as being ‘like shooting fish in a barrel’.

‘The police know full well they can bully us. They introduced this scheme which is untested and unproven and we are the only country on Earth testing like this…just testing for presence, no level at all just a scerrick of THC and you are likely to lose your licence,’ he said.

‘Imagine any level of alcohol and you lose your licence, and it passes through your system quickly, unlike cannabis.

‘I’ve been smoking pot for nearly 50 years and I’m totally used to it like the millions of people who take their pharma pills every day are used to them. I’d possibly be more dangerous without my daily medication!

‘And what about epileptics who keep their seizures at bay with pot do we really want them to stop driving?’

Mr Balderstone said more people are turning to cannabis because ‘it doesn’t have the side effects of opioids, which we all know can have a huge effect on people’s skills despite not being tested for in the RDT program’.

‘RDT and sniffer dogs have changed drug trends in Australia for the worse in a big way. Pot is the easy bust in every way, bulky and smelly, stinks when you smoke it and stays in your system for weeks because it’s fat soluble.

‘There urgently needs to be federal parliamentary inquiry into RDT and I think it’s the job of the Greens to get this happening if the major parties won’t take it seriously.

‘And most importantly we cannot properly in any way introduce medical cannabis before we sort out the RDT.’

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  1. You are so right Mr Balderstone I have been saying this for a long time. The police need to change the driving laws for people on medicinal cannabis. They need it for the pain & also need to drive. Alcohol affects people more easily than medical cannabis when it is used for the right reason, medicinal. Come on guys get this right. and now not years down the track.

  2. RDT was a political stunt introduced by Mike Baird which has no benefit for society but plenty of pain for the passive user. It needs to repealed now.

  3. Infuriating also because I have been telling and teaching people how to beat the THC Mandatory Drug Test (aka Draeger Drugtest(TM) 5000) for over 2 years now. Suck two of these slowly for at least 15 minutes before you encounter the cops – you know where they usually are anyway with their MDT THC saliva antibody testing unit….100% legal too – if asked why the tongue colour has changed just say its a cough lozenge…..Sigh!


  4. What happens to tourists who come from countries and states in the u.s. who have medical or outright legal weed when they get ramdomly tested. It stays in your system for weeks.

  5. Perhaps time for Australia, HEMP, nimbin and Australia to support law reform? – Last time i checked whinging didn’t fix anything ? http://bit.ly/Adam-2018-SCL – How bizarre MardiGrass 2018 not discussing real law reform –
    MPs introduce a bill and the best activists can do is suggest cough drops – Meanwhile folks are buying journos to make up stories on Cannabis. Time to legalise now or in March 2019 your call.

  6. I’ve been a daily use stoner for the past thirty years.. If you’ve met me in that time you met me stoned.

    I was also a gold coast registered professional taxi driver from 2007 – 2011.
    Maxi taxi driver twelve passengers at a time, 55 hours a week for four years straight. New years eve, grand prix Christmas holidays – you name it.

    I’m also a qualified professional driver that spent his days driving veteran affairs recipients to their appointments and daily chores.

    Never had an at-fault accident in my entire life.

    RDT is complete bulls**t.


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