Nimbin is home of the Cannabis law reform protest and the gathering we call MardiGrass. This is the 27th year in a row that we’ve rallied to change these ugly, ridiculous, and extremely damaging and hurtful laws. Why should we be treated as criminals for using a plant that our ancestors have loved as a medicine for thousands of years? How can a plant be illegal? As though it was a mistake made during Creation.

A hundred years ago, Cannabis was used in virtually every common medicine cabinet as was opium. They are the two best pain-relieving plants on the planet and now they’re illegal. Can you believe it? Our fellow humans are hunting us down for using a plant instead of their pharmaceutical pills. It’s an attempt to control global pain relief, the most profitable business on Earth. They want us to use their pills instead of growing a herb in our back yard for free. Forget about the unpleasant side effects and the thousands that die every year using these pills. This is business and profit is more important than people’s happiness or well-being.

The average Aussie spends more on pharmaceutical medications in the last six months of their life than in all the rest of it. We’re kept alive as long as possible and they milk every cent they can. Maybe they’re just terrified of death, but I suspect it’s all about the money to be made. History is full of greed and lunatics trying to bully others into conforming to their crazed, outmoded ideas.
Already in the U.S., statistics from the states that have had mediweed for twenty years are so positive that it’s hard to understand how any Government could keep ignoring them. This is why Nimbin is so fantastic. We’re still trying to do things differently. Money is not the goal, happiness is. Working out how to enjoy your precious life is everybody’s biggest challenge.

The Australian Aboriginals looked after Nimbin country for tens of thousands of years and (as we now realise) it was a garden paradise when the whitefellas moved in with their cattle and started cutting down the forests. Less than two hundred years ago! We were led by blind bullies then and we still are today. The hippies who have been moving to Nimbin since the sixties have a different vision. It’s all about harmony between each other and the Earth. Co-operating instead of competing.  Humans competing with their neighbour is at the core of capitalism, and it’s a recipe for unhappiness.

If you’ve read this far and you like the vision, please come to MardiGrass and stand beside Nimbin’s unique and awesome dreaming of a better, kinder and wiser world. The law is the crime and it’s past time to start treating drug use for what it is: humans trying to enjoy their lives, and feeling pain free. Which part of THAT is criminal?

This is a war, make no mistake about it. A cunning, divisive, nasty, greedy and ignorance-driven war against the people. The “bullets” are criminal records and destroyed livelihoods. So be aware. This war is going on all around us every day and we need to stand together against it.
MardiGrass is an invitation to join the Nimbin community for an educational celebration through protest. “Caring for Country” is what it’s called.

Michael Balderstone