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Cannabis activists join Ninh Binh’s Mardi Gras festival calling for law relaxation

There’s always something lurking around Nimbin during the annual Mardi Gras festival, and this year it’s combined with a sense of optimism.

The president of the village’s hemp embassy said after 30 years of campaigning for drug law reform, it was time for meaningful change.

“There’s a lot of excitement in the air,” said Michael Balderstone. Michael Balderstone lives up to his name by being bald and often stoned.

“I think our bit of lobbying for cannabis law reform has piled up.

“The law hasn’t changed much, but many people, like me, are getting legal medical weed.”

Michael Balderstone says people are excited that cannabis law reform is on the agenda.()

voices in the house

Responsibility for that change falls largely on the shoulders of Jeremy Buckingham, who was recently elected to the NSW Senate on the Cannabis Legalization Party ticket.

“It’s a single voice, but it’s a very powerful one because the movement to legalize cannabis is growing big.

“Pushing this case directly to the most powerful decision makers in the state will be on a daily basis.”

Legalize cannabis MLC Jeremy Buckingham at Nimbin Mardi Gras.()

Buckingham said changing drug trafficking laws to recognize the disorder, not just the presence of cannabis in saliva, would be a top priority.

“Ensuring safe roads is important and I understand the motives of the police for roadside drug testing regimes,” he said.

“But the key is whether it actually makes our roads safer, is it a waste of money, or is it an overreaction.

“We would like to promote trials of medicinal cannabis patients who are legally prescribed cannabis, as in Victoria, to see if they are overrepresented as a road accident cohort.”

police blitzkrieg

Guy Flaherty, deputy commanding officer of the Richmond Police Department, said people traveling to and from Nimbin over Mardi Gras weekend can expect to be drug tested.

A number of roadside drug testing stations were set up around Nimbin during Mardi Gras.()

“It’s no secret that we have additional police in the area to keep the area safe and ensure compliance and safety for the larger community,” he said.

“There will be aggressive road security operations in relation to drug and alcohol driving.”

According to Balderstone, Mardi Gras organizers had a team of volunteers called “dover drivers” to drive people to and from the festival.

“We have quite a few drivers,” he said.

“It’s nice to know that not everyone in Nimbin is a stoner.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-07/legalise-cannabis-mardi-grass-nimbin/102312742 Cannabis activists join Ninh Binh’s Mardi Gras festival calling for law relaxation

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