MardiGrass is an annual gathering of anyone and everyone seeking to reform the Australian cannabis laws. It’s held in Nimbin each year, the town often referred to as the cannabis capital of Australia.
The rally was cancelled last year due to Covid-19, but came back in 2021 over the weekend, with thousands heading to Nimbin from April 30th to May 2nd.
Overall, the event was a great success, with prominent speakers including Dr. Teresa Towpik, David Shoebridge of The Greens, Michael Balderstone of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party, Australian lawyer David Heilpern, Professor Kylie O’Brien, Fiona Patten of The Reason Party, and many more.
Sessions of the speakers were streamed live to their Facebook account, with recordings saved for you to watch at your own pleasure as well.
A number of protest activities were also scheduled:
- Cannabis Law Reform Rally & Parade – the main event to show support for cannabis law reform
- Hemp Rope Tug-O-Drug War – a tug of war using a hemp rope featuring the police against attendees (the police declined the 2021 invitation to participate)
- Kombi Konvoy – a car show of kombis through the streets
- Ganja Faeries – a parade showcasing the greener side of fairies
Despite the peaceful and harmless activities scheduled, there were reports that every single road into the town had police checkpoints.
With cannabis still being highly illegal (and dangerous) in NSW, of course the police had to show just how powerful they are in stopping the use of the drug throughout the state at the annual cannabis festival. Despite the current roadside drug testing not even testing for impairment, with NSW’s own Unversity of Sydney reporting the current laws are completely out of touch with reality.
On top of the drug driving laws being out of touch, in the first half of 2020 NSW Police seized more than $100 million worth of the drug. Surely that had an impact on consumption as well…right? Wrong. Australians consumed record levels of cannabis in 2020, despite the police spending millions of taxpayers’ money to try and shut down the black market. Across the country as a whole, police are using $1.1 billion of government funds to fight the war on cannabis – one that was clearly lost many years ago.
David Shoebridge, a major activist for cannabis law reform also condemned the disproportionate response by the police.
Thankfully, despite the intimidation by police, the festival went along smoothly, with most attendees having a good time, without hurting anyone else. And why should that be illegal?