Michael Balderstone President – Legalise Cannabis Australia – Nimbin Good Times – Jan 2023

By Published On: January 12, 2023Categories: Campaigns, Cannabis, History, Media Releases, News, PoliticsTags: , , , , ,

Michael Balderstone
President, Legalise Cannabis Australia Party (formerly HEMP) and Nimbin HEMP Embassy

Nimbin Good Times
January 2023

Doesn’t it strike you as a little ridiculous we have to elect people to Parliament to get taken seriously on a single issue like the cannabis laws? The majority of the public has already changed its mind on weed but the politicians stay super careful of reforming any drug laws. No doubt they are still being brow beaten by Big Pharma and the Police on the dangers of letting weed out of the bag. 

The endless fear being fed to the suits so Big Pharma can maintain its profit and monopoly on pain relief and the police can keep their power. And the jails can stay full of course. Now there’s a business for you…Macquarie Bank and Serco (the refugee camp builders) made our new local “Clarence Hotel” as it’s called, with a guarantee it will stay at maximum capacity, 1700 people and a huge percentage aboriginal. Sick stuff.

Two Legalise Cannabis candidates got elected to the Upper House in the Victorian elections last month. This is following two getting elected in WA last year. But this time it’s different, with the 2 Victorians part of a block with 4 Greens and a couple of others that can bend Premier Dans arm because he needs their support for any new legislation. The Balance of Power!

Hopefully it will be enough to start some real reform of the driving laws and allow us to grow some weed in our gardens. Legally!

I doubt if many people realise how hard it is to get a Legalise Cannabis political party registered. The stigma, the fear, the absolute paranoia. Who wants to sign up to a party of criminals? Isn’t it giving the police a list of pot smokers? We can already see the police target the areas where we get the most votes, testing our saliva.

There’s a whole process where the Party members list and their address’s we submit must match exactly the Australian Electoral Commission details, to a comma. Computer stuff, no common sense involved. Then they contact you to check you really did sign up to Legalise Cannabis and we didn’t just get your name from a phonebook. 

Hippies in the bush not getting mail regularly are an issue of course but nothing like the paranoia that’s understandably rife throughout the weed world. Imagine a phone call from the Gubberment asking you to confirm you’re a member of the Legalise Cannabis Party. Some people go to water. “Ahh, he’s not here. Or, “He doesn’t live here anymore.” Or they simply hang up! 

Legalise Cannabis Victoria got in by the skin of its teeth gaining rego just days before the cut off which was only a few weeks before the election. In NSW we had to be registered twelve months prior to the election. 

A million thanks to those of you who helped make that happen. Your reward will be seeing us on the ballot next March.

The next step was finding candidates suitable for the job because it’s no longer just getting the issue on the agenda, there’s a real chance you can get elected, as just happened in Victoria. We spent hours on Zoom the last month interviewing prospective candidates for the Victoria and NSW elections. Furious cannabis users who cannot stand the injustice a moment longer but also people eyeing off the job, prestige and paypacket. It used to be just “Nimbin types” who put their hand up as candidates but not anymore.

It’s a bit tragic we have to get elected to be taken seriously. How on Earth did they manage to convince most of the population that any drug use other than their recommended pills or grog should be pursued by police? How did big business get so powerful? The drug war is all about Big Pharmas profit as we know but this in turn has created other business’s like the jails, courts, lawyers, rehab, etc etc. Yet we all agree drug use is a health issue, don’t we?

We just visited Canberra for a Hemp Expo and heard how no one has their saliva tested unless they are pulled over and look out of it. No roadblocks at music festivals. Residents in the ACT can grow 2 plants and carry fifty grams of pot, and next October, after the police have been retrained, small amounts of all illegal drugs will be decriminalised. And no sign of the sky falling in.

NSW Labor is promising to hold, “a far ranging drug summit”, if they are elected next year but why doesnt Albo do one in Canberra? So we don’t end up with an interstate mess like in America where you can smoke weed in one state but a hundred yards across the border you can go to jail. Tasmania now recognises medical cannabis patients can drive but here we lose our licence for 3 months! Canberra is like another planet.

Best wishes to Rachel Payne and David Ettershank, (6’10”!) our new cannabis using MP’s in Victoria who I’m confident will be here for you to meet at MardiGrass next May.