On October 31, 2001, 28 police poured out of cars and vans and surrounded the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, closing it off to the public.
About two hours later they emerged, arresting one person, Dave Cannabis, and maybe they found a little pot. Shock, horror! Pot in the Nimbin Hemp Embassy!
By the time police were ready to leave a large angry crowd had gathered, chanting ‘go back to Manly’. When police did try to drive away, people clung to vehicles, threw themselves in front of cars and the underlying anger and frustration exploded. A crowd of around 500 people filled the street and pursued the police down to the local station.
“For months, residents have been complaining police never come when they are called, whilst the town slowly deteriorates into a refugee camp from the war on drugs” said Michael Balderstone, the HEMP party’s NSW Senate candidate and party president.
“Is this Ian Causley sending in the Liberal boys in blue? Or is this the police giving the HEMP party some free publicity because they must be as sick of busting cannabis users as anyone. Eighty percent of drug busts are for cannabis and mostly personal amounts. No wonder pills and powders are booming, they’re more dangerous but you’re far less likely to get busted”.
“This is precisely why we are running in the November 10 federal election. Police waste endless time and resources on this lost war, whilst alienating and angering ordinary people smoking a bit of pot.”
“It’s all one war to Prime Minister John Howard, whilst we hope Labor might follow their British counterparts in making cannabis no longer an arrestable offence.”