MardiGrass turns to science as push for reform strengthens

ABOUT MARDIGRASS

  • Nimbin's Mardigrass festival will be held from May 1-3
  • Activities include Kombi Konvoy, a joint rolling contest, a bong toss and a beard stash.
ANDREW KAVASILAS: The science is well and truly in on the medical benefits of cannabis
ANDREW KAVASILAS: The science is well and truly in on the medical benefits of cannabis

THERE will be high hopes for the future of cannabis law reform as this year's MardiGrass shapes up to be the most science and fact based cannabis event ever presented in Australia according to organisers.

Nimbin's 23rd annual MardiGrass 'protestival' will see recognised researchers, Federal and State parliamentarians as well as seasoned activists come together for joint discussions on everything from advances in cannabis medicine and science to civil liberties and law reform.

MORE: Crime down since pot legalised in Colorado, should we follow?

"The science is well and truly in on the medical benefits of cannabis and NSW taxpayers paid for a series of inquiries more than 10 years ago which supported its use," said HEMP Party secretary, Andrew Kavasilas.

"We've assemble some of the most knowledgeable people on the subject to highlight the most recent developments, setbacks and the need for drastic action by Australian governments."

While pro-legalisation has been taken half a step forward with the NSW government's roll out of clinical trials that could see cannabis regularly used to treat symptoms of selected terminal illnesses, organisers say the feeling is bitter-sweet following police announcing a scale up of the use of roadside saliva testing in an attempt to address drug use.

President of the MardiGrass Organisation Body, Michael Balderstone said both the clinical trials and the controversial saliva testing would be major talking points at this year's event.

"We all know this roadside drug testing is not about impairment," he said.

"They're nets to get ice sharks but mostly catch stoner dolphins who might have had a smoke the day or more before."

Last year police expressed concern over the large number of drug-drivers caught during MardiGrass with 86 drivers testing positive to drugs while five people were caught drink driving.


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