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Hemp Bar closure

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#21
Frazz

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At another meeting at Nimbin yesterday, Mr Balderstone said he would step aside if there was a way the community could take responsibility for the museum.

"I'm happy to leave if the museum can survive," he said. "I've had a lot of criticism for not stopping it (the dealing in the museum). A lot of people have said I'm too soft because I don't like seeing young boys locked up in jail.

"Since the MardiGrass we have really worked our butts off, and in the Hemp Bar I know for a fact there has been no dealing in there, and still they've done this, which is very disappointing. What happened to community policing?"

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August 28, 2008
Andy Parks,
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#22
MongyMan

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At another meeting at Nimbin yesterday, Mr Balderstone said he would step aside if there was a way the community could take responsibility for the museum.

"I'm happy to leave if the museum can survive," he said. "I've had a lot of criticism for not stopping it (the dealing in the museum). A lot of people have said I'm too soft because I don't like seeing young boys locked up in jail.

"Since the MardiGrass we have really worked our butts off, and in the Hemp Bar I know for a fact there has been no dealing in there, and still they've done this, which is very disappointing. What happened to community policing?"

It's a shame the answer is only seen after the horse has bolted. I hope the museum does continue and another cafe takes the place of the hemp bar. They weren't the first smoker friendly cafe in Nimbin and I doubt they will be the last. After the hemp bars track record though, I can't see much if any support coming from the police with any future similar ventures and cafes in any other places in Oz is right out the window now.

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#23
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So , If I am reading all this right , the bar was shut down because they SOLD Pot ? Is that correct ? If so , fuck 'em , they fucked up !!!! :peace: Once again MONEY got in the way !!

Edited by Closet Grower, 29 August 2008 - 06:29 PM.

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#24
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:peace: That's it exactly CG. They had a chance to make a change but fucked it with greed. Thanks again guys.

Peace MongyMan
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#25
Closet Grower

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Thanx for clearing that up Mongy :peace: I hate the GREED factor in our race !!!
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#26
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Posted Image

The guys promised me they will go out blazing on webcam - and it may re emerge as a new identity , but as of Friday the Hemp Bar will never be the same -.-


4.20 at lismore cop shop ...

I was caught up and couldn't get to nimbin so pulled up at lismore police station at 4.20 :bang:

Giving that police have amnesty for drug use I believe it extends to medical users at the very least -.-

Went into the court .... no application filed
Detective Smith wasn't at the police station next door
Staff were very nice and helpful at both places

I went to Lismore Courthouse earlier this morning with Michael.
Michael left a letter for the Judge and we also went next door and left a note and copy for Detective Sargeant Michael Smith.

Michael is offering to close the Museum for a month to see what difference it makes to Nimbin’s drug dealing and is asking that artists be allowed to work inside during this time to restore some of the damage done to exhibits and paintings.

:peace:

Michael's Letter

Thursday August 28 2008


To the Presiding Judge,

Lismore Court House.

I began my life in Nimbin over 20 years ago when I rented the Museum shopfront as a second hand, antique shop. Dealing of illegal drugs was a small issue then in the village, but even then a divisive one. As tourism grew and the popularity of cannabis spread, so the dealing grew along with the shops in the town, now nearly all dependent on the tourist trade.

Over the now I5 years that I have operated the Museum as a tourism enterprise, my assistants and I have strived tirelessly to keep drug dealing off the premises. This has often been at great personal risk and many volunteers have quit because of the abuse copped in the process. There are numerous signs throughout the Museums 8 rooms saying ‘no dealing’, and even detailed, large writing explaining our predicament and asking for co-operation. Of course many of the young men dealing cannot read! The police are fully aware of all this and I have always tried to communicate openly and honestly with them for approximately twenty years. All that time I've been a member of the Police Community Consultation Committee.

The big change came when CCTV cameras were installed in the street, live to the police station, several years ago. Displacement is a well documented consequence, but it was accepted that this would eventuate, and it did. All over town, everywhere the cameras don't cover, the dealing moved there. This included inside the Museum and in the extensive unfenced backyard and adjoining block, none of which is on camera, nor in my lease.

So it seems totally unfair that the Museum, Nirnbin's main tourist attraction, is threatened because the more tourism grows here, and the more police stop walking the beat like they had to before the cameras, the worse the situation is getting. It doesn’t help that Nimbin has a closed Youth Club and SK8 Park, and the Museum building used to house the youth club.

Also, dealing occurs all over Nimbin and yet the police continue to target the two business premises, Hemp Bar and the Museum, who have both been lawfully and actively lobbying for cannabis law reform. The very reason we have been calling for a trial of licensed cannabis cafes is to deal with this impossible and longstanding situation. We have an implied constitutional right to political association and freedom of speech. The oppressive and unconscionable use of this legislation by the police in this matter is a burden on our rights I believe. I invite you to visit the Museum and Hemp Embassy’s websites, see links below.

Since the closure of the Museum at MardiGrass this year, May 3 & 4, Nimbin's busiest weekend of the year, we have strived conscientiously to keep the dealing outside the premises and have succeeded mostly because the dealers take our threats more seriously now because we have a copy of the affidavit and police DVD of the April 1st raid. Police have observed this change and there has not been any supply charges that I am aware of over the previous 4 months. This can be confirmed by police records.

Before we reopened after that weekend closure I purposefully went to the police station to discuss what was expected from me by the police and was told by Detective Sergeant Michael Smith and the local Sergeant Mat Johnson, who agreed that the eradication of drug dealing from Nimbin was an impossible objective, and that I should just continue “to do my best and try and keep the dealing outside". I have engaged in an endless dialogue with the Police including the Area Commander about how to make Nimbin more peaceful and how to deal with the illegal cannabis trade and the people attracted to it. It is disappointing that the police recently ceased to include me in any discussions and there is no acknowledgement of the more than reasonable effort we make everyday.

Please consider our situation in any decisions which you are required to make in relation to the Nimbin Museum. Please also note that I have only been given a few days notice on this matter the affect of which will have a major long term impact on Nimbin tourism and the many volunteers involved in keeping the Museum operational. As the occupant of the premises I ask to be given a say in the matter when it is heard. Please advise us of any hearings or how I should go about getting heard.

I have been advised that undercover police have been offered marijuana in the Museum since the MardiGrass, the fresh evidence, and wonder why they didn’t arrest these people. I cannot do their job for them.

The Museum won a major North Coast Tourism Award some years back and has an international reputation for it’s extraordinary art, murals, sculptures etc. Our joy is welcoming visitors from across the planet who come in busloads daily. I understand the police are just trying to do their job but I believe they will be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in this case. And it is not adressing the issue of the dealers who will remain everywhere else in town.

Wishing you could find the time and come and see the situation for yourself. My landlord lives in Sydney and has never been to Nimbin. I am a good tenant, always pay the rent on time and maintain the old and leaking building at my own expense usually.

If they cannot keep all drug dealing out of the jails, what hope do i have?



Your sincerely, Michael Balderstone



Nimbin Museum, 62 Cullen st, Nimbin, 2480 phone 66891123 www.nimbinmuseum.com www.hempembassy.net
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#27
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One of the highlights of my 2 Mardis Grass visits was listening to Mike Baulderstone speak.
The kind of straight forward common sense he talks, the respect he shows everyone so well I understand and embrace.
The hippie woman who spoke at last years Mardi Grass was equally as inspiring.
They didn't talk or score points about hydro or selling or even smoking pot, they talked about a vision of all of us living together peacefully and respectfully and honestly with cannabis being just a small part of a beautiful world. That's why I dig the idea of Nimbin, there is a way forward, but we gotta get ourselves back to the garden :peace:
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#28
linbaba

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If the goal of the HEMP Bar was to provide a model for the legalisation or at least normalisation of cannabis use then it stands to reason the selling of cannabis must also be a part of this model if not the most important part. If the community and media are to tolerate cannabis use then its only logical that they should tolerate cannabis sales, as I assume people know the shit just doesn't fall out of the sky. Does the community want hardcore drug users living on the streets sustaining their habits by selling cannabis to tourists? Do they want kids involved in selling cannabis or even buying it? The HEMP Bar was trying to follow in the footsteps of the success of the Amsterdam coffee shops. Providing a controlled environment for the sale of cannabis that could potentially be regulated by the government is a key part of the solution IMO. The failure of the HEMP bar is not so much that they sold cannabis its just that they were isolated and therefore an easy target. If there were 5 or 6 places in the area all doing the same thing perhaps we would see a different result? Unlikely I agree as people who truly want cannabis law reform and want to do something about it are a minority within a minority within a minority.

Now if they were selling pills and powders in there yes that is worthy of condemnation but I just don't see why they should be criticised for selling pot as that is the key to the whole issue.

Edited by linbaba, 30 August 2008 - 09:39 AM.

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#29
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Thanks for sharing Michael's letter with us Grace :bang:

I'd love to see the judges relpy to his last question...

If they cannot keep all drug dealing out of the jails, what hope do i have?


...maybe they should close the jails too eh :peace:
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#30
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awww bugger!

We were heading down that way in a couple of weeks and me and the Mrs and junior were hoping to check the place out. Hope it's still there when we arrive. Bloody police state. But even then I guess the coppas are just doing the bidding of their evil masters in Canberra/Washington. :-(
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