In Canada, M.O.M.s operate in a grey zone as access to both medical and recreational cannabis while we wait for legalization. But Canada isn’t the only country making moves to legalize medical marijuana or decriminalize or legalize recreational weed. So the Twelve High Chicks M.O.M. Cup is bringing international guests: activist and advocate speakers and entertainers.
Michael Balderstone, president of Australia’s HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) Party, has been involved in the hemp movement since the 1980s. He invited me down to MardiGrass in Nimbin, NSW again this year. Just after the 24th annual MardiGrass finished we sat down in the back of the Hemp Embassy and chatted.
After 30 days down under, I leave Australia awed by the sheer size at how diverse the country is, and with a whole new-found respect for the sun and what it can do.
Aussie hot isn’t like Central America hot, somehow it’s hotter.
Coffs Harbour : Swimming with Dolphins!
We made a side trip back to Nimbin for something to smoke, as we were without after the clean prosperity of Coolum. One thing for sure, we were with our people in Nimbin. We did what was needed without problem and we headed back south once again in a good state of mind.
Into the Gold Coast
As mentioned, when moving up the coast to Brisbane, we left New South Wales for Queensland. Queensland has passed some very tough anti-gang laws recently that are being challenged in court. In particular, these are anti-biker gang laws: a group of three bikies (Australian bikers) belonging to an Organisation, who have tattoos and are wearing leathers is grounds to arrest them. Even skull rings and club emblems, colours, patches, and club tattoos, all are illegal in Queensland. That sense of law and order is strong in Brisbane.
Kangaroos, Koalas, and Komodo Dragons, oh my!
The Three Happy Cats took a trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket, Queensland (a suburb of Brisbane) to tour the facilities and take in some wildlife. I for one am very happy we did; remember those experiences I wanted to collect? I found some of them there.
Before I left Canada, Marijuana Man from Pot TV suggested that when I got to Nimbin, I should look up Michael Balderstone—at the time of writing, the President of the Australian Hemp Party and the Unofficial Mayor of Nimbin. So we did.
Lismore into Nimbin, The Cannabis Capitol of Australia
After a week in Byron Bay, with a new tattoo, a near epic need for marijuana, and a continuous parade of 20-ish, scantily clad, sexy, Aussie ‘schoolies’, this old cat was ready to move on to Lismore, gateway to Nimbin and all things cannabis in Australia.
Grey Skies and a Black Mood
Monday the weather was unsettled again with a mixed bag of sun, wind, clouds, threats of rain and finally a good thunderstorm and soaking later in the afternoon.
Sunday I was on my own for the day, and I had big plans.
Like most secular countries, Sunday in Byron Bay is much like any other day, with only banks and the post office closed. It’s the day of the big weekly market held down near the beach.
Byron Bay is a sleepy little town of about 800 year-round occupants which swells from a constant mixed stream of up to 16,000 tourists, backpackers, surfers, crafters and ‘schoolies’(the Australian version of spring-breakers who visit in December through January—the absolute best part of the summer and the holidays). And this eclectic grouping of people were all looking to party, surf and have fun! Byron Bay definitely hosts the largest collection of white guys with dreadlocks I have ever seen in one place, including at the Shambhala Music Festival in BC.