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.