Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone. Jay Cronan

Anger at MardiGrass drug testing

MARDIGRASS organisers are angry about what they claim is unjust roadside drug testing that festival goers will be subjected to this weekend.

Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said organisers met with Lismore City Council staff yesterday which was positive.

"We met with council, they are happy and we have got a three year DA, which is terrific, so we don't have to do it every year," he said.

"It's our 23rd MardiGrass and we have worked out a relationship with police and council which is pretty cool.

"It's just a pity that they are probably going to be drug testing us on the road."

Before and every day during MardiGrass, Mr Balderstone said organisers would meet with police to discuss how the festival was going.

"We are all really pi***d off about the roadside drug testing because we know its bull***t.

"They are using this drug testing to stop hemp seeds coming into Australia

"Hemp seeds don't get you stoned but police say it might interfere with their roadside drug testing so they have stopped Australian's eating them.

While it is anticipated police will be drug testing on the Lismore and Murwillumbah entrances to Nimbin, Mr Balderstone said people already had plans to avoid being tested.

"There will be buses and plenty of designated drivers.

"It really f**ks with your life if you lose your licence, if you lose your licence you can lose your job."

Mr Balderstone said regular cannabis users could be worse drivers if they don't consume cannabis.

"This is our medicine; this is what our bodies are used to.

"What about medicinal cannabis users who are using it for epilepsy, brain trauma or nausea from chemo, do we want those people driving with nausea or suffering.

"It's just a really dumb law because in a way they are going to be more dangerous.

Predictions of widespread rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday won't dampen the festivals spirit Mr Balderstone said.

"The best thing about pot is it's an inner journey and an attitude thing, so no matter how much rain we get, we'll still have a good time."

For more information visit www.nimbinmardigrass.com.



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