The famous Big Joint is carried during the Rally for Cannabis Law Reform and Float Parade.
The famous Big Joint is carried during the Rally for Cannabis Law Reform and Float Parade. Jerad Williams

HEMP embassy blows meeting

ONE president had rolled a giant joint, the other rolled right on past with a giant security entourage as Nimbin's hemp crusaders nearly met US President Barack Obama in Canberra yesterday.

Legalise marijuana - Yes We Cannabis - was the cheeky message from members of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy as US President Barack Obama made his way to Parliament House for the first official visit to Australia.

In a roped-off area about 150m from the entrance to Parliament House a team of eight from the Nimbin's Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party, including their president Michael Balderstone, waited patiently all day for an opportunity for President Obama to not so much as inhale, but merely glimpse the giant joint they'd brought out for the occasion.

"The mood is definitely anticipatory," Mr Balderstone said from Canberra yesterday.

"The National Capital Authority has been very supportive of us being here and our right to protest.

"The best outcome would be that the President stopped and chatted with us - particularly as he was supportive of the medical use of cannabis in the US," Mr Balderstone said.

However, the President disappointed and by 4pm the big joint was deflated and Nimbin's president was preparing to leave.

"We will be back again tomorrow," Mr Balderstone said.

"It's been worth coming here.

"We've had a lot of media coverage and our aim was to put the hemp issue onto the agenda."

The Nimbin Hemp Embassy has been using the US President as its "cannabis poster boy" since his candid response to the now mandatory "inhaling" question put to most modern leaders.

He had famously said: "I inhaled frequently. That was the point."

Today President Obama will address a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament and HEMP representatives will be back in an attempt to greet him again - along with Byron Bay peace activist Graeme Dunstan.



Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

premium_icon Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

Cock is a play about a man and a woman competing for the same lover

There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

premium_icon There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

Lismore houses offer a home for all budgets

Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

premium_icon Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

Former employees are owed more than $1 million

Local Partners