2024 Hemposium

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The clever use of clever plants can transform our world!

As usual MardiGrass offers full tilt ideas and education all weekend at the 2024 HEMPOSIUM where we reveal the growing pockets of resistance working towards a post-prohibition Australia. 2024 MardiGrass Hemposium will showcase an impressive line-up of speakers who will share their cannabis expertise and experiences across medical, industrial, science, politics, culture and more! After four years, our line up once again includes international speakers. MardiGrass is an extraordinary chance to share and learn about our favourite plant ally and healing herb. A Weed University weekend!

MardiGrass is also all about sensible law reform for ALL drugs, so this year we will partner with Entheogenesis Australis to present a program dedicated to other medicinal plants. We promise expert knowledge-sharing on botanical research, mushroom cultivation, harm reduction, the black art of saliva testing, and psychedelic therapy. Don’t miss it! 10am – 10pm Saturday 4 May in the Town Hall Garden.

In 2024 we are excited to welcome Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather, a GP from California specializing in Cannabis medicine since 1999. Dr Hergenrather’s practice, research, and teaching focus on the medicinal uses of Cannabis through a wide range of conditions and age groups – from infants to elder care.  He is a founding member and former president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, a non-profit corporation dedicated to quality patient care, educational programs, and clinical studies.

Returning to MardiGrass for the third time is Dr David Bearman, also from California. In 2024 he will talk on Cannabis and driving, and how this issue is dealt with in the USA. David is one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the field of pain management and medicinal marijuana, and was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement in California. Dr. Bearman is also the author of a number of books including “Cannabis Medicine: A Guide to the Practice of Cannabinoid Medicine” which will be available at a book signing during MardiGrass.

In 2024 MardiGrass is excited to welcome 2018 Churchill Fellow, Tom Forrest, who will discuss cannabis agronomy in Australia and worldwide including cannabis cultivation facilities, broad-acre cannabis farms and research centres worldwide. And we’re stoked that Miles Hunt, the Drug taking Lawyer, will share the reasons why he ‘came out’ and the effects it had on his career, reputation and personal relationships.

This year’s Hemposium features a “women and weed” theme with Rebecca Houghton interviewing Dr Hergenrather on Cannabis and pregnancy while Legalise Cannabis State MPs, Rachel Payne, will discuss therapeutic benefits Cannabis provides for women, and Sophia Moermond will present a herbalist’s perspective on Cannabis.

The big discussion point for 2024 around weed legalisation will be “What’s Next?” Leading Cannabis law reform politicians from the Greens and Legalise Cannabis [LC] parties will discuss their efforts around roadside drug testing, adult use, removing past cannabis convictions, fixing the medicinal cannabis scheme, and decriminalising psychedelics.

Long-time MardiGrass supporter, Federal Senator David Shoebridge, along with Richmond Greens candidate, Mandy Nolan, will share the Greens steps towards legalising Cannabis federally.

NSW State MLCs, Jeremy Buckingham [LC] and Cate Faehrmann [Greens] will team up for a discussion on how to invoke meaningful drug law reform in NSW, and what we might get out of the proposed Drug Summit. Jeremy will also chair a session on the new NSW Hemp Industry Taskforce, established to support producers and growers in the expanding hemp industry.

Greens NSW MLC Sue Higginson and poet and ex-magistrate, David Heilpern, will discuss Cannabis laws in Australia along with a legal advice Q&A.

Victoria’s LC State MPs, Rachel Payne and David Ettershank will share their experience in pursuing Cannabis law reform in that state over the last 18 months. They will be joined by LC “veteran” from Western Australia, Dr Brian Walker, who will present how things are progressing for Cannabis in the Wild West.

Other Legalise Cannabis members, including Dr Jim Moylan, will provide their vision on pathways to cannabis legalisation, and possible new law reform options.

We are also honoured to announce that John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, will speak at MardiGrass 2024 about the importance of journalistic freedom as a cornerstone of a thriving democracy against dangerous tyranny.

Also join Dr John Teh and Chloe Jean Teh, from PlantMed Medicinal Cannabis, for a medical cannabis Q&A. John and Chloe have been working within the Medicinal Cannabis industry since the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in Australia in February 2016.

This year’s Mardigrass Industrial HEMP Expo, located outside Nthn Rivers Hemp in Cullen Street,will feature puppet making and hempstone jewellery workshops by molecular sculptor Martin Ernegg; interactive farming tips and tricks from Hanna and Leon Hemp Threads; and the Hempies will host a panel on hemp innovations in product development and improvement free ranging over the exciting future landscape for hemp. Demos all weekend by The Hemp Club and Northern Rivers Hemp Growers Co-op featuring special guests, The paper tiger, Dion Channing and Robert Tonks CEO Australian Hardwood Charcoal Products.

And a massive shout out to MardiGrass legends and stalwart supporters of Cannabis law reform who will share their expertise and inspiration again with us in 2024: legendary master gardeners, Tony Mullaways, and Kog, as well as veteran healers, “Dr Pot” Andrew Katelaris and Radic Al Conscious. Hemp Historian John Jiggens, will return to remind us of the murky world of the Mackay murder and NSW drug laws.

It’s time this magnificent herb was welcomed into mainstream Australian life, and the persecution and prejudice to stop. It’s time for Oz to open up to Adult Use Cannabis! In 2013 Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the sale, cultivation, and distribution of recreational cannabis, with Canada launching legalisation in 2018. With Thailand grooving into the green dream in 2022, Germany has recently flipped the recreational switch in early 2024. There are now a total of ten countries and 24 states in the USA which have legalised Adult Use Cannabis since 2012. Australia is slowly catching on and toking up.

The 2024 MardiGrass Hemposium is a space to inform, learn, agitate, inspire and connect in this massively important green revolution. Join us to help OVERGROW THE GOVERNMENT!

2024 Program Partner: Entheogenesis Australis [EGA]

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