ABOVE: Police will beef up resources at this weekend's MardiGrass event in Nimbin.
ABOVE: Police will beef up resources at this weekend's MardiGrass event in Nimbin. Jerad Williams

Mardi Grass: You've been warned

AN extended police presence will be in place at Nimbin's annual Mardi Grass rally as participants champion for the legalisation of cannabis in Australia.

Police are prepared for a huge turn out as organisers have been predicting numbers between 5000 to 10000 people.

Richmond Local Area Command Superintendent Greg Martin said the extra police presence is in place to ensure participants have a good time and keep safe.

"We will take appropriate action against anyone who chooses to commit a crime, or behave in an offensive manner." Supt Martin said.

"If you suspect the health of another festival-goer may be impaired by drugs, alcohol, or any other factor, tell someone immediately and seek professional medical assistance."

Hemp Embassy President Michael Balderstone said event organisers have had several meetings with police to make sure the event runs as smoothly as possible.

"I think we will get a really big crowd because cannabis has been in the news so much in the last year." Mr Balderstone said.

"Everyone has just got to respect that the cops have got their hands tied a fair bit, however they just want to have a peaceful and safe weekend."

Every year a large number of backpackers who come to Nimbin are looking to experience the alternative lifestyle.

However police will be on the look for people taking advantage of tourists and those actively engaging in the supply of prohibited drugs.

"It is a common misconception amongst those international tourists that it is legal to take illicit drugs in the Nimbin area," Supt Martin said.

"We want to inform those tourists that it is not only illegal to possess or take illicit drugs; but those caught face serious consequences."

The annual event is set to be another huge success with organisers very enthusiastic about the activities they have organised for everyone this year.

"There are talks, hemp Olympics, music and comedy on every night, there is pot art and pot poetry, there is everything you can think of." Mr Balderstone said.

Highway Patrol Command will also be in the area targeting speeding and drink-and-drug driving.



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