Welcome to Nimbin

MardiGrass Raves

MEDIA RELEASE: Monday April 29


“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 high light 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 business’s 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.”

Please check out the very full weekend program. For $150 you get 3 nights camping and entry into everything. A single day entry is $30.


Michael Balderstone
HEMP Embassy President

25 February 2024

The five Legalise Cannabis Members of Parliament, and I hope some Greens, are coming to MardiGrass after completing their first year as representatives of our favourite vegetable, as Timothy Leary called pot. Looking forward to hearing their stories.

Jeremy Buckingham was on the front page of the Daily Terror this week, Murdoch’s flagship. He’s the chair of the Budget Estimates committee hearings which gives him plenty of air for questions.

The DT Editorial wrote, “During that hearing, the somewhat unlikely figure of Legalise Cannabis party MP Jeremy Buckingham directed an impressively informed series of questions at Premier Chris Minns.

“Do you accept that in recent years, there has been an explosion of organised crime activity across NSW that has manifested itself in gangland violence on the streets of Sydney?” Buckingham asked, and so on.

Minns agreed it’s costing NSW taxpayers billions each year. Rumour has it his Drug Summit will be in October but just for a couple of days.

Jeremy has also initiated the establishment of a NSW Hemp Industry Task Force which includes 12 representatives from growers and industry associations along with the Minister for Agriculture. Several of our local hemp farmers are in the Roundtable discussion. Hippies being included! Unheard of.  We’ll hear all about it at MardiGrass.

MardiGrass is also all about sensible law reform for ALL drugs, so this year we will partner with Entheogenesis Australis to present a day/night 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.

Meetings for this year’s first weekend in May annual protest have begun and already the hippie traditions have been upset by, you guessed it, new rules.

It seems several of last year’s Iron Grower Person Event contestants had taken an inordinately long time to recover and one, a medallist, has not recovered.

Australian International HEMP Olympix Committee (IHOC) officials attending a meeting in Brussels said, “While we are still battling the consequences of the drug war with illegal unregulated chemical drugs on the street, the committee has decided this event must be suspended until the war is over and respect for drug use returns.”

After due consideration by the IHOC, plans are afoot for a replacement gold-medal event reflecting the change from outdoor to indoor growing, another drug war impact. The Dealer’s Nightmare will be a team event testing quick and accurate reactions to police raids.

In exciting news, the IHOC is also considering including Correct Weight as an official HEMP Olympix event this year after its growing popularity in the Fringe Olympix. Contestants aim to to fill a baggie with exactly 28.35 grams. Correct weight keeps the bag.

Everyone is welcome at the MardiGrass meetings at Nimbin’s Hemp Bar, every Friday from 4.20 now until that first weekend in May.

Would you like to get involved? Submit the relevant form for: market stalls, advertising, speakers, musicians and performers, stallholders, Jungle Patrol, Ganja Faeries, and volunteers to help us set it up for a couple of weeks before May 3, 4 and 5!

Or here’s the link to buy a ticket!