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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Getting to the point of the joint

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The Big Joint will again be a feature of the MardiGrass parade on Sunday. (Picture: Marijuana NZ)

One thing you can be sure of, people are going to smoke pot and Nimbin will hold its annual protest about laws prohibiting that, this weekend.

MardiGrass is a gathering of cannabis law reformers, tokers and tourists, which celebrates all things marijuana.

Michael Balderstone president of the MardiGrass Organising Body (MOB) says it’s all about education. ‘We understand prohibition of natures best medicines is largely about fear, ignorance and greed,’ says Michael. ‘We do our best to make events educational wherever we can. Even food stalls have to incorporate hemp seed into their menus.’

The event stages a three day Hemposium with speakers on all things cannabis in four different venues.

‘Anything you want to know about cannabis can be answered this weekend,’  says Balderstone. ‘Half a dozen speakers are from California, Canada and Amsterdam – this will be enlightening for everyone about how it is for them at home where using cannabis is legal.’

Balderstone says organisers try and make the entertainment educational as well as enjoyable.

‘The Hemp Olympix for example, was created twenty plus years ago to educate straights that stoners don’t just lie around spaced out under trees doing nothing much. We come from all walks of life and can be as athletic as anyone. The Growers Iron Person Event is now legendary as well as exhausting, and educational.’

Balderstone says they try to add a new event every year. ‘Last year it was the first ever we reckon suppositorium which showed there are other holes in the body where your medicine can be taken into. This year the Kombi Lift is to show stoners are as strong as anyone.’

MardiGrass attracts a lot of overseas stoners who discover Australia for the first time and already there are two travellers coming from Europe to lift the Kombi.

‘We haven’t exactly worked out yet how the event will work. Whoever lifts it the highest and if it’s not clear who wins we’ll start loading the car up with people maybe. See if it can be lifted full of passengers!’

‘The traditional tug ‘o peace on the giant hemp rope with the police versus our own polite service has not happened the last two years. We used to start the Hemp Olympix with this and it set the tone for respect throughout the weekend. Unless they [the police] turn up this year, we’ll turn the lemon into lemonade and do it between those who smoke straight and those who mull with spin, smoke with tobacco. Again educational and important.

‘The weather looks good and we’re expecting a big crowd, particularly as we are all tired of hearing the same hollow promises from Canberra about medical cannabis,’ says Balderstone. ‘Not even one percent of Aussie stoners qualify for the legal mediweed and our arrest rates show no sign of declining, so nobody is fooled. And anyway, how can we introduce medical cannabis while nobody is allowed to drive?’

The Kombi Lift is at 2 pm in Plantem Park on Saturday. The full program is on nimbinmardigrass.com.

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