Michael Balderstone

President Nimbin HEMP Embassy & Legalise Cannabis Australia


I discovered cannabis by accident when I was 25 years old, fifty years ago.

It changed my life. I used to get debilitating migraines from stress that they now call PTSD.

They were really the result of a traumatic childhood being sent to a boarding school at a young age with a paedophile teacher and the like.


The immediate relief from cannabis in my head and body that day was nothing short of miraculous. I have loved it ever since.

I have tried being without it at various times but always return and with immediate relief. I guess I’m satisfied with my endocannabinoid system as we now understand.

Over time I’ve learnt how to use it, which cannabis strains work best for me.

There is a real medical science to be studied here and many people over the years have taught me by sharing their own experience. Some weed energises me and some is fantastic sleeping medicine.


I am a very uncomfortable criminal and deeply resent the laws making me one. My whole family was deeply worried and affected by it also. Now I have a prescription. They are ok!

It is devastating for users like me that we shouldn’t drive and we all, including the police i speak with, know the saliva testing has little to do with road safety. I know many people who have lost their licences and jobs because of these unjust laws.


I am sure I am a safer driver with my usual daily medication in my body. Imagine all the opiate users on the road not having their pain relief? I also know cannabis users who now use opiates because they cannot risk losing their licence.


I have worked in Nimbin for the last forty odd years, it’s like a refugee camp from the drug war. The trauma from being labelled a criminal is huge on top of whatever trauma caused us to use in the first place.


And bad laws cause disrespect for all laws, as well as those enforcing it I notice.

Obviously the police have vested interests in keeping the cannabis war going, as has Big Pharma, but how come they have become the drug experts? They get the last say on any suggestion of changing the laws it seems.


The shocking injustice and cruelty in my childhood has led me to spend half my life trying to educate people about the unjust cruel war on a plant that was in virtually all the medicines a century ago. IN TEN THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY ON CANNABIS NOT ONE DEATH RECORDED. It has to be the safest and most useful medicine in the creation and yet we are not allowed to grow it in our own backyard!


That should be allowed and dispensaries regulated with quality control to sell to people who don’t want to grow their own, like most people don’t brew their own beer.


Michael Balderstone