Nimbin: Max Stone Australian Cannabis Law Reform Movement aclrm(at)nimbinaustralia.com ph: 61 266 891842. See links at top.
Nimbin: Max Stone of the Australian Cannabis Law Reform Movement aclrm(at)nimbinaustralia.com ph: 61 266 891842. See links at top.
Wikipedia: Cannabis by country.
Search for: event videos. And more.
GMM graphics and other event graphics.
City lists. Global Marijuana March, 420. Crowd photos.
Nimbin MardiGrass. May 1-3. 2009 Global Marijuana March. Youtube link.
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See 2008 GMM, GlobalMarijuanaMarch.org archive, 2.
Nimbin: Max Stone of the Australian Cannabis Law Reform Movement aclrm(at)nimbinaustralia.com ph: 61 266 891842. See links at top.
- Report (from old GMM site):
As you can imagine, having the H*E*M*P Bar and its live web cam shut down and a sign on it's door saying "Gone to Mardi Grass" meant I was in a bit of a sticky situation from an 'organizational' point of view. Fortunate for me, the previous decades worth of 4 20's had left such an impression in the minds of all the hardcore repeat MardiGrassers, that I almost didn't need to mention it, but, mention it I did. At 20 minutes past the hour ,every hour, on the main festival sound system I talked up the event. MardiGrass Saturday was a very POLICE intensive atmosphere, road blocks around the town, riot squad in bullet proof sunglasses every where you looked. I urged everyone if they was going to smoke one joint all day, let it be at 420 today when they could light that joint in global unity with the millions of other people all around earth who will also be lighting up at 420. And I always make a point of asking that when you do light up at 420, let it not be an act of defiance, let it be an act of peace, a sharing, a celebration and a thing you do every day at 420 until the law is changed.................... Peace for Pot ------------ Pot for Peace
Best part is that outside the H*E*M*P Bar wasn't the only venue for the 420 Demonstration, H*E*M*P President Michael Balderstone did a HUGE 420 Demo in Peace Park, Captain Reefer did another in Allsop Park, the Stage down in the Markets did a 420 and pretty much everyone everywhere was part of the Demonstration and if I had to add one last thought it would be that 4.20 PM on Saturday was about the only time that the main street of Nimbin had that traditional smoky mardigrass look to it, no arrests were recorded by the police at 4.20 or in the 30 minutes after. Over 15,000 people attended this years www.NimbinMardiGrass.com and everyone of them
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See 2007 Global Marijuana March map.
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Nimbin tale: Site of the annual "First weekend in May" Nimbin MardiGrass, Nimbin is unique. Once a sacred initiation site for the Bundjalung tribe, it was originally "settled" by white Europeans in the very late 19th Century. Basically that means we clear-felled as much of the forest as we possibly could, fenced it off from the local Kooris and proceeded to wipe out any of them that objected to being uprooted, brain-washed and totally cut off from their traditional lands and way of life... It's a familiar story.
Within a couple of decades the white guys had pretty much run out of trees and so they started looking around for a NEW way to turn a buck. Sticking a whole bunch of heavy-footed European cows on the recently cleared slopes seemed like a good idea at the time, and so within ANOTHER few decades the once pristine forests surrounding this area had been transformed into an expanse of denuded, eroding cow pastures. Meanwhile the arse was busily dropping out of the international market for Australian meat and dairy produce. Ho-hum...
By 1973, Nimbin was almost a ghost town. Luckily for the local real estate agents, a bunch of long haired student radicals from the Australian Union of Students arrived seeking a site for a national student counter culture life style event called the Aquarius Festival. They had taken a left turn at Mullumbimby, chose Nimbin promising the village residents that Aquarius would "recycle the town".
Cut to 1993 - the same deserted dairy town has been transformed. The building and shop fronts are a garish yet somehow compelling collage of full blown psychedelia and traditional Bundjalung art. There's more cafes, craft shops and backpackers than you can wave a traveler's cheque at and the stinky sweet smell of ganja is positively enveloping the street. This definitely AINT Byron Bay.
Down the centre of the main drag of this tiny, tripped out tourist town, there's a huge throng of people, laughing, drumming, chanting, DANCING towards the local cop shop.
Dozens of them are helping to carry a huge smoking joint with "Let It Grow!" painted in 4 foot high letters on the side. Others are holding banners and placards calling for change - an end to drug prohibition, the legalisation of cannabis, an end to the drug war.
Many are openly smoking pot as they drum, sing and humba their way towards the suddenly vacant-looking police station. One dude is on stilts, wearing a huge cardboard helicopter he's made in mockery of the annual pot raids that Nimbin has suffered for more than a decade. Paradoxically, not one person looks angry.
What the f*ck is happening here?
Why, it's the first annual "Let It Grow!" MardiGrass Fiesta and drug law reform rally.
A thousand local "alternatives" (the politically correct way to say "hippies") finally spitting the dummy, coming out of the closet and in true 60s in-your-face street theatre style pointing out to the jaded apathetic mainstream that the drug wars just aren't working.
That night on the national news the Australian general public was faced with the bizarre spectacle of a bunch of aging hippies, their off-spring and an ever-growing army of young and old recruits joyously breaking the cannabis laws en masse and demanding a change to the drug laws. Not only has the war on drugs left a deep and unpleasant impression on our idyllic, lotus-munching existence (the hippies seemed to be saying) but these days it's seriously f*cking with YOUR way of life as well.
Ever since the '73 Aquarius Festival, Nimbin has had a strong tradition of civil disobedience of the drug laws. The cops tried to bust someone for pot in the middle of the festival, but were quickly (and peacefully) overpowered by the crowd and the "criminal" disappeared into the seething hairy melee. This was nothing new at the time.
The same kind of spontaneous rebellion had happened at the Sunbury rock festival the year before, and was of course a regular ingredient in the Vietnam protest movement of the sixties and early seventies.
By the late 80s however, people's willingness to take these kind of measures had markedly diminished... even in a place as supposedly pot-soaked as Nimbin. The U.S.-driven "War On Drugs" was in full swing. In the cities, the psychedelic, sacramental dealing circles of the sixties had long ago been replaced by more commercial, well-oiled interests. Smack was available everywhere in Australia. Hope was extremely unfashionable.
Those in Nimbin still clinging to their hippy ideals were pretty much trying to keep their heads down... at least as far as drugs were concerned. Regular invasive police helicopter raids were just a fact of life. The general wisdom seemed to be that showing an interest in drug law reform was as suicidal as walking into a police station smoking a joint.
Despite this generalised paranoia, a few brave souls were consistently stirring the pot.
Beginning in 1988, a series of public demonstrations, press releases and politically motivated events kept emanating from Nimbin, all of them hammering the same basic point ... the drug laws are a miserable, socially destructive failure.
At first, these words of wisdom only seemed to be coming from one person, Bob Hopkins, a Nimbinite who conducted a vigorous and extremely effective one-man campaign against the drug laws.
Gradually other folk began to get involved. Michael Balderstone (the owner of the local "hippy" museum) and David Heilpern (a lawyer and activist who later became a magistrate) were among the early ones.
By 1993, a small but dedicated bunch of folk had coalesced around the name "The Nimbin HEMP Embassy". Their press releases and activities had consistently kept the issue of drug law reform in the spotlight of the local media and more and more people were coming out in support of what they had to say. The time seemed right for a larger display of local public feelings. Hey presto, the first annual Let It Grow! MardiGrass and Drug Law Reform Rally was born.
The first MardiGrass attracted a crowd of about 1000 people and much publicity. The day went off without a hitch. It was a huge success. By the next year, many more local people were openly supportive of the event. That year, the MardiGrass rally was preceded by a conference and seminar which attracted politicians, academics and health professionals from all over Australia. In a tradition that has continued to this day, the crowd doubled over the previous year's numbers... 2000 people paraded through Nimbin calling for an end to the madness, prejudice and social chaos that masquerades as drug prohibition.
In 1995 the first MardiGrass Cannabis Grower's Cup was held.
The year 1996 saw the beginnings of many events that have since become intrinsic to the Mardi Grass. The HEMP Olympix had its inaugural year, as did the Kombi Konvoy and the Hemp Traders Trade Fair. The now-legendary HEMP Olympix comprised pothead contests around joint rolling, bong throwing and, for the more physically-minded, a Growers Ironperson competition. For this contestants pitted themselves against the odds in outlandish tests of strength such as crawling through lantana tunnels dragging large bags of fertiliser.
The Kombi Konvoy opened the 96 Mardi Grass and has done ever since. A procession of variously decorated Kombi vans winds its way from nearby Lismore, arriving at dusk in the crowded lantern-lit streets of Nimbin. Led by the Olympix torch-bearer, the Kombis eventually park in a circle and the crowd forms for the opening ceremony.
Thus begins a weekend of song, dance, speeches, workshops, poems, pot art exhibitions, hemp trade and fashion shows, drug law and drug health information exchanges, seed swaps, magick, myth and joyous, stoned civil disobedience and political demonstration.
Finally on the last day, a lucky few settle down for the Cannabis Cup.
Based (very loosely) on the Amsterdam event of the same name, the Nimbin Cannabis Cup is a nice mellow wrap-up to the heightened chaos of the previous few days. A rather broad selection of the best local buds is tasted, toked and tested by a smattering of card-carrying "expert" judges, eventually choosing a winner. If you don't make it as a judge however it doesn't really matter. Just like in Amsterdam, there's so much good pot everywhere that anyone that does make it to judge status is usually too stoned to tell anyway.
The MardiGrass has grown stronger and larger every year and the Nimbin HEMP Embassy has continued to stay at the forefront of drug law reform activism worldwide. Several large scale smoke-ins and demonstrations have been held outside police stations and courthouses, political candidates have been run (and polled quite highly), a television ad campaign was run requesting people to dial-in to a safe number and report any cases of police harassment or corruption. All this plus maintaining a high-profile drug education outlet in Nimbin's main drag.
One of the more interesting actions was the helicopter blockade in January 1997. Finally sick of the annual hippy-bashing helicopter raids that the police had been mounting every year, the HEMP crew and friends decided to do something about it. With a little ingenuity, they found out where the chopper squad was staying and where they'd parked the chopper for the night. Early the next morning, the cops awoke and opened their motel room door only to be greeted by the rather unnerving sight of one or two hippies chained underneath their wagons, a whole bunch of hippies waving and laughing at 'em from across the car park and a veritable swathe of camera-toting press all clicking and whirring and taking notes right next to those god damned hippies.
Needless to say the hippies had a very articulate and convincing press release ready about the waste of public money inherent in sending a bunch of gung-ho cops on double-pay in a very expensive helicopter to circle and swoop above the local communes and come back with a pathetic payload of what could only be described as personal stash.
Meanwhile on the other side of Lismore another couple of Hempsters were slowing things down by chaining themselves to the chopper. The press loved this story, and the cops?
Well, the cops just shook their heads, got in their little, blue wagon and went away. To this day, the helicopter squad has not returned to Nimbin.
All of these events lend colour and strength to the MardiGrass.
Last year's was a huge success and this year promises even more. As time goes on and the crowd grows, it's interesting to watch the demographic changing. These days, the old-school hippies are well and truly out-numbered by the whole array of society's archetypes. Many of these are just as counter or sub cultural as the hippies (punks, ferals etc). The vast number of them however are just plain, ordinary suburban working people. Many of them are there with their kids. Not all of them smoke pot, but they all know someone who does and they all agree that it's time for the drug laws to change.
It's ironic but somehow typical that the drug law reform movement should find it's most vocal and public face in a place like Nimbin. The MardiGrass gives voice to frustrations and problems that are vexing the whole of mainstream society, but most people aren't quite brave enough to express this to their neighbours. In the anonymity of a "freak-fest" like MardiGrass, many people are quite prepared to stand up and be counted. This is vitally important as a first step, but it's only when there's a MardiGrass happening in every town and when every pot smoker puts their hand up that the laws will change. It's too easy for the mainstream to ignore protest when it just happens in Nimbin.
So come this year to MardiGrass, but remember that it's a drug law reform rally and not just a pot party. We're there to make some points not just to get out of it, and remember to take some of the magick, idealism and commitment home with you when you go, there's enough to spare. Neil Pike 2004 http://www.nimbinmardigrass.com
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Note: This section and following ones are at: Beyond drug war, debt, and wealth concentration. To single-payer healthcare and progressive taxation.
See articles: Cannabis is safer. And:
History of US Republican war on cannabis, and their lies about its health effects.
Portugal's decriminalization[edit source]
Return to top. See: Portugal. Cannabis-related links and decriminalization. See the utter failure of the US Republican-led drug war and mass incarceration: It is killing Americans at the rate of one Vietnam War every 6 months.
There were around 112,000 US drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending May 31, 2023, at a rate of 307 deaths per day. 335 deaths per million US population. Only around 10 to 72 deaths per year in Portugal, a country with universal healthcare, and where all drugs have been decriminalized since 2001. See timeline table of yearly overdose deaths by European country.
"We had to destroy the village in order to save it." The US Drug War is killing 100,000+ a year in order to save people from drugs. US weapons are destroying Gaza in order to save it. We've been here before. MLK on April 4, 1967:
Martin Luther King’s Most Controversial Speech: "Beyond Vietnam". Assassinated for speaking the truth exactly one year later on April 4, 1968.
Harm reduction is cheaper[edit source]
Return to top. End the expensive, incarceration-heavy US drug war with Portuguese and Canadian single-payer universal healthcare, and Portuguese decriminalization.
End US government debt[edit source]
Return to top. Share link: Debt ceiling. See: Wikipedia: US debt ceiling.
Save $1.5 trillion per year[edit source]
Via single-payer healthcare[edit source]
Return to top. Republicans oppose single-payer universal healthcare. US would save 1.5 trillion dollars per year if it instituted Canadian universal healthcare. That is 5.4% of US GDP.
Canada spent 11.2 percent of its GDP for total healthcare costs in 2022. US spent 16.6 percent in 2022. Besides bankrupting the US due to GOP ideology, Americans have high personal medical debt, unlike Canadians. . High student debt is another problem Americans have due to GOP ideology, unlike Canadians. Changing the age of adulthood to 17 would free up a year of education money.
US is Broke, not Woke. Healthcare spending and debt ceiling.
Return to top. Many sleepy Americans can't do the math concerning healthcare costs and medical debt. Also, incarceration and family debt due to the GOP-led war on drugs. Also US student debt, and US household debt due to GOP's low minimum wages, etc...
Canadians are richer on average than Americans, and they have more energy because Canadians don't have to take 3 jobs, go bankrupt, or sell their homes, due to medical and student debt. See Wikipedia: List of countries by total health expenditure per caspita. See: Student debt balance is forgiven after 15 years payment in Canada.
Nearly a third of our health care dollars (mostly outside Medicare and Medicaid) go to something other than health care.
Canadians are healthier[edit source]
Return to top. See: End drug war with universal healthcare and decriminalization. Cannabis is legal across Canada. See Wikipedia: Cannabis in Canada.
US Republicans Voted Often to Kill Coverage of Pre-Existing Conditions. .
Health spending by country[edit source]
Return to top. Republicans are responsible for the large US government deficit. Because they support the wasteful US healthcare system over the much cheaper single-payer universal healthcare in Canada and elsewhere. See: Canadian single-payer universal healthcare versus US healthcare.
Keep 'em poor and sick:[edit source]
Return to top. Canadians are healthier on average, and their preventive healthcare is much cheaper! Versus US Emergency Room care. See Wikipedia: Health spending as a percent of GDP by country (gross domestic product). And: Wikipedia: List of countries with universal health care.
US Republican states;[edit source]
Not just pot prohibition;[edit source]
Return to top. See Wikipedia: Republican states.
See article: US Republican states. It's not just cannabis prohibition. Many maps. It's also their low minimum wages, high Covid death rates, poor healthcare, high household debt, high gun death rates, high homicide rates, high incarceration rates, etc.. See: Drug war and other excessive uses of force. They are autocratic gerrymandered states that have long avoided federal oversight due to the Republican filibuster. See Wikipedia: Filibuster in the United States Senate.
The US Republican Party wants to concentrate wealth at the top. So they want most people to be Broke, not Woke: Trickle-down economics. See: Beyond drug war and conservatism.
The federal minimum wage would be $13.46 in 2022 dollars if its real value had remained at the 1968 level. Even more in 2023 dollars. See graph below.
GOP voter suppression;[edit source]
Return to top. Vote out the many Republicans supporting backward cannabis laws. It is purposely made more difficult by the lack of no-excuse postal voting. Just one example of Republican voter suppression in GOP states. Such as many states in the south.
See Wikipedia: Postal voting in the United States.
Return to top. Republicans dominate talk radio. Especially in the Republican south with its backward cannabis laws.
How Fox News and the Right-Wing Media Machine Made My Dad Crazy.
See Wikipedia: Conservative talk radio. A percentage of people in many states do not have access to broadband internet, and desktop or laptop computers. Cell phones are a poor substitute for many people. So they are left with Republican misinformation radio.
End GOP Senate filibuster[edit source]
Return to top. A minority of Senators should not be able to block cannabis laws supported by the majority of Americans.
The War on Cannabis. It accelerated in the US, and that's where it will end.
US Congress could legalize, reschedule, or remove cannabis from the federal schedule if the Republican filibuster were gone. Vote in US Senators who will abolish it. . Senators Manchin or Sinema could abolish it now.
End the electoral college[edit source]
Return to top. Presidents should not be elected who do not receive the highest number of votes.
Abolish the electoral college. Imagine the US without the 12 years of the Bush and Trump presidencies and their backward cannabis policies.
Enact ranked choice voting[edit source]
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See Wikipedia: Ranked voting.
End presidential veto, and[edit source]
Return to top. Presidents should not be able to block cannabis laws supported by the majority of Americans.
See Wikipedia: Veto power in the United States.
No Presidential war powers[edit source]
Return to top. Nixon, Reagan, and Bush are responsible for the US War on Drugs, and the lie that massive incarceration is a solution. See:
Reagan's frequent demonization of cannabis.
Presidents have too much power. Wars later determined to be started based on lies of Presidents:
Vietnam War: President Johnson and the lie of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Iraq War: President Bush and the lie of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Too old: Trump and Biden[edit source]
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Institute a mandatory retirement age for US Congress members and the President. . Mandatory retirement exists for many US judges. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are too old to be President.
No Trump tax cuts for rich[edit source]
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US Republicans have led cannabis and drug wars worldwide. All to create 2nd class citizens who are blocked from many educational, job, and voting opportunities. Part of the conservative plan to concentrate wealth in fewer hands worldwide.
|Trump's 2017 tax cuts for the rich.
|On average, taxpayers in the income groups highlighted in yellow will incur a net cost (shown as a positive figure as this reduces the budget deficit), due in part to reduced healthcare subsidies. Higher income taxpayers receive a benefit via tax cuts (shown as a negative number as this increases the budget deficit). The percent of taxpayers in each income group is also shown for the 2023 period. "Taxpayer" in the chart refers to a tax return, meaning it could represent one person or a married couple filing jointly, among other options. . Commons source.
Stop wealth concentration[edit source]
Return to top. See: Wikipedia: Progressive tax. End concentration of wealth and power (see previous section).
USA. The sorry state of the nation. After decades of Republican-led drug war, and their filibusters in the Senate. The GOP somehow convinced people that by giving rich people money (via tax breaks to the rich, and low minimum wages) that money would magically trickle down to them.
Increase minimum wage[edit source]
Return to top. Beyond drug war, debt, and wealth concentration. To single-payer healthcare and progressive taxation. Simultaneous with the Republican-led drug war the GOP used the Senate filibuster to undemocratically severely restrict increases in the minimum wage at the federal level, and in GOP states.
Population and Warming[edit source]
Return to top. World Population Clock: 8 Billion People (LIVE). All countries need low birth rates. We need more trees and less people. More oxygen, less carbon dioxide. We need a declining population to stop and reverse global warming. "Assuming no net migration and unchanged mortality, a total fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman ensures a broadly stable population." - Fertility rates. OECD Data. See country graphs.
Many US Republican leaders oppose birth control and abortion rights (even early abortion). Another reason besides their backward cannabis laws to vote them out. Birth control and abortion (especially early abortion) is legal (even free) in many countries. That needs to expand further.
The US and Europe can't import all the overpopulation of the world. US Democrats need to limit immigration, or they will lose power, and cannabis policies will go backward.
Wikipedia: List of countries and dependencies by population density. And we need to lower the curve below by lowering the birth rate.
Global warming. Roswell[edit source]
Return to top. 2023 GMM-420. And Mirror. Note: See the sections at the bottom of many pages: Beyond drug war, debt, and wealth concentration. To single-payer healthcare and progressive taxation.
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