Whats On

Mardigrass protestival to be as serious and silly as ever

CANNABIS CAPERS: Dave Carr, Max Stone, Sam Bernard and HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone practise for a new event at this year’s Mardigrass – Beard Stash, where participants have to hide as many buds in their beards as they can.
CANNABIS CAPERS: Dave Carr, Max Stone, Sam Bernard and HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone practise for a new event at this year’s Mardigrass – Beard Stash, where participants have to hide as many buds in their beards as they can. Marc Stapelberg

A SMALL, peaceful protest outside the Nimbin police station in May 1993 has grown into a cannabis law reform rally that attracts international speakers and worldwide attention.

The annual Mardigrass "protestival" began after a group of Nimbin residents, fed up with what they considered police harassment, marched on the police station and pelted it with eggs and toilet paper.

The negative publicity prompted another group to organise a more peaceful rally, complete with the first giant joint and a nun playing a tuba. These images were broadcast all over the world and organiser Bob Hopkins vowed to hold the protest every year until prohibition was ended.

Twenty three years later and the event continues to grow with the same ethos of serious law reform meets serious silliness still beating at its heart.

Speakers include state and federal politicians discussing medical cannabis and civil liberty issues, Dr David Bearman talking about advances in cannabis medicine in the US, advocates from the US on Colorado's growing green economy, plus many others.

On the silly side, a new event called the Beard Stash, where participants have to hide as much dope as they can in their beards, will run alongside traditional events such as bong throwing, joint rolling and the growers' ironperson event.

"But we are 20 years behind America. They had their first legal medical cannabis in 1996," he said.

"We've got a doctor from California (Dr Bearman) talking about how it's a win-win-win situation there (for patients, growers and law enforcement agencies)."

Mr Balderstone said the main contribution of Mardigrass was getting politicians, law reformers and advocates together talking and "getting new information into Australia".

He said State Premier Mike Baird's plan for a limited medical cannabis trial in NSW was a way of "sweeping the issue under the carpet".

"(The research) has all been done before," he said.

"Patients can expect to wait six years for trials that we don't need, then they'll look at it again.

"He's a cunning politician and we're not impressed."

Topics:  cannabis mardigrass protest

Commercial fishers get extension, but it makes no difference

Ballina trawler harbour.

Deadline extended for NSW fishers buying back into the industry

Sex attacker slapped with strict supervision upon release

Violent sex offender's life after jail no walk in the park

Boogie woogie beauty took the world by storm

The grave of Winifred Atwell  at the Memorial gardens at South Gundurimba.

Photo Jacklyn Wagner / The Northern Star

International star who wanted to be buried on the Northern Rivers

Local Partners

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!