Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.
Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.

Grass is greener? Cannabis advocate may leave Nimbin

HEMP Party president and candidate Michael Balderstone says he would leave his beloved Nimbin if he won the Eden-Monaro by-election on July 4.

The Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party will provide a protest vote for cannabis law reform.

Mr Balderstone said he was frustrated that Australian law reform was so slow in following the example set by America and Canada.

He wanted to give people a chance to show the government how they felt.

Mr Balderstone, who turns 72 during the by-election campaign, has passionately continued his protest for justice since the HEMP Party began in 1992.

"Why can't we all grow a couple of plants like in Canberra which is surrounded by this electorate? If we were allowed home-grown for personal use across Australia, we could save billions in health care and policing costs," he said.

"We could be saving money instead of wasting it.

"There's plenty of work to do on law reform; the federal government needs to step in on sniffer dogs and saliva testing which are driving people to use dangerous drugs.

"It's absolutely clear our federal politicians have no idea about a genuine medical cannabis regimen.

"Current laws fail to address the criminality of millions of ordinary Aussies who enjoy a toke."

Mr Balderstone said it was time to end the war and instead tax and regulate to create investment opportunities plus thousands of cannabis industry jobs, like in the USA and Canada

"The last three years of so-called 'legal medical cannabis' in Australia has been too slow and an expensive total disaster for us all," he said.

"Australians must have legislation to address their immediate needs and the concerns of an ever-increasing number of chronically ill patients who use cannabis for medical purposes.

"The debate on medical use needs to mature and develop in line with other countries.

"We need specific interim measures implemented and fine-tuned over a period of 12 months or until new policy decisions are legislated."

The HEMP Party proposes a moratorium and amnesty in relation to the broader issue of prohibition impacting society.

It is HEMP Party policy to establish hemp industries producing fuel, fibre, paper, textiles, food, oil and other environmentally sound products.

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