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Medical Cannabis at MardiGrass

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It started in 1993 when a demonstration erupted in Nimbin after an intense period of random street searches, arrests and rough treatment by police. A group of people marched to the police station and pelted it with eggs and toilet paper. Realising this was probably not the best way to have the laws about marijuana possession changed, Hemp Embassy members formed a different sort of MOB (the MardiGrass Organising Body), organised a peaceful protest on May 1, 1993 and vowed to hold a rally every year until the laws are changed.

Now in its 19th year, Nimbin's MardiGrass has become a major fixture on the North Coast cultural calendar with thousands of people descending upon the village to participate in everything from joint rolling and bong throwing competitions to discussions featuring some of Australia's most prominent thinkers on health and criminology.

HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone said there would be a focus this year in promoting the medical benefits of cannabis.

"Few people realize that the average Australian spends more on pharmaceuticals in the last six months of their life than in all their other years put together," he said. "Many hundreds of people are now dying comfortably using cannabis (for pain relief) and it's a tragedy they have to access the black market to purchase it. When pot does become legal, thousands of people who are currently suffering needlessly will also be able to take advantage of the terrific medicinal benefits offered by this safe and beneficial herb."

This year's MardiGrass will feature a model of a Californian dispensary and a medicinal cannabis tent hosting panel discussions. Mr Balderstone said he was concerned that Australia was ill-prepared for the emerging industry.

"We have to learn from the overseas experience. It's important we don't strangle our new industry with regulations that exclude the very people who know the most about the trade. Just like the bootleggers and moonshiners of the alcohol prohibition age turned into publicans and brewers, the pot dealers and growers of our age of prohibition need to have their knowledge and enthusiasm put to use."

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: echonews.com.au
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Copyright: APN News & Media Ltd
Website: Medical cannabis at MardiGrass
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