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Mardigrass lights up Nimbin from Friday afternoon

The Lismore App

30 April 2024, 10:00 PM

Mardigrass lights up Nimbin from Friday afternoon

Nimbin is two days away from lighting up the Northern Rivers when the 2024 Mardigrass Rally and Gathering gets underway at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.


"I remember too well the helicopter raids that drove Bob Hopkins to lead the first MardiGrass protest on May the first back in 1993," says Michael Balderstone, president of Nimbins Hemp Embassy, organising the one pub villages annual cannabis law reform protest and gathering.



"The raids were like a war, military attacks with helicopters hovering over hippy houses terrifying children and animals and Vietnam vets trying to hide in the hills. They basically just picked on the communes with total nonsense about saving society from the evil weed that has no medical value. The weed that hasn't killed anyone in ten thousand years of recorded use."


"How the tables have turned. Now doctors can hardly keep up with writing scripts for legal medical cannabis while recreational weed is still completely illegal. It's the same plant of course," he says.


"We had such a good time at that first empowering protest we vowed to do it every year until we are no longer criminals. The next year we sewed sheets together and made the first big joint. Nimbin only had one cop back in those days and I fondly remember hippies putting their freshly picked buds out on blankets for sale. This was pre-hydro days, and weed was seasonal, hence the famous Pickers Ball."



"The word spread quickly, and within a few years, we had to create the Hemp Olympix to clear the crowds off the street. There were few dramas and I don't remember any car accidents.....the atmosphere, the music, the freedom, the smoke...we had a ball and a peaceful ball.


"The world has changed a lot in thirty years, as has Nimbin. But we still have annual helicopter raids, and we are still not allowed to grow our own plants. Add that to the disgusting and completely unfair saliva testing of drivers, and there is a lot to protest about. 


"We do our best at MardiGrass to make it an enjoyable and fun protest. There is comedy galore, we need it in the face of so much nonsense."


On the more serious side, Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather is flying out from California for the weekend to share with us the latest from America, where they have had legal mediweed for nearly thirty years now. He was a cannabis doctor long before that.



A busload of Green and Legalise Cannabis members of parliament are speaking at the Hemposium in the Hall, all working for us and this plant, arguably the most useful in the Creation. And this year we have a tent dedicated to other entheogens like mushrooms due to the ongoing recognition of their importance.


The Kombi Konvoy wending its way from Byron to arrive for the 4.20 protest on the Saturday is a highlight as is the Big Rally and Parade Sunday arvo. 


"Do dress up in green, paint a placard or whatever, but join us to protest this war which is overcrowding our jails and creating disrespect across the board.


"It's a war against ourselves and an unending, unwinnable war. We all know drug use is really a health issue, but instead, we now have big businesses fighting over who gets the huge profits to be made from relieving our pain. We all could be growing our own plants or getting a co-operative to grow for you like Germany has just introduced.


"Remember cannabis is a plant that has never killed anyone and is nothing like the other illegal drugs which are all chemical or processed. It is the safest, most useful and best medicine in the plant world. The cannabis laws are a serious crime against us and the Earth. Come join our protest next weekend."


You can check out the full weekend program on nimbinmardigrass.com.


For $150 you get 3 nights camping and entry into everything. A single-day entry is $30.

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