The Mackay murder and NSW drug laws

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About: The decriminalisation of cannabis was on the political agenda in NSW but the murder of Donald Mackay in Griffith in 1977 reshaped NSW drug laws. The Mackay murder is one of the black holes of Australian history, involving corrupt NSW police, politicians and the Nugan Hand bank.

Speaker: Dr John Jiggens, Hemp Historian

Bio: Dr John Jiggens is a citizen journalist. He was the founding editor of The Westender and The Cane Toad Times and he currently works in the community newsroom at Bay-FM in Byron Bay. A self-described “minor god of cannabis”, he has published several books on the history of the genus and on the origins of cannabis prohibition, including Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp, The Killer Cop and the Murder of Donald Mackay, The Joke and, with Jack Herer, the Australian version of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Along with Matt Mawson, Anne Jones and Damien Ledwich, he edited The Best of The Cane Toad Times. His most popular work, however, remains his PhD, Marijuana Australiana: Cannabis Use, Popular Culture and the Americanisation of Drugs Policy in Australia 1938-1988, which has been full-texted downloaded over 25,000 times.


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