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$300 drug fine creates another cannabis recruit

Renee Redmond, The Northern Star, 31st May 2006

ROBERT ROSE is joining the fight to legalise cannabis after being slugged a $300 fine for possessing four grams of the drug.

Rose, 37, appeared in Lismore Local Court and pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited drug.

Rose was among 93 people charged with drug offences including cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy during the annual Nimbin Mardi Grass festival on May 6-7.

About 20 of those appeared in Lismore Local Court yesterday charged with possessing a prohibited drug. The rest were issued with cautions.

Rose said he was driving out to Nimbin to visit his father and had planned to go to Mardi Grass.

"I was stopped on my way into Nimbin. I expected a caution," Rose said.
"This is the second time I’ve been charged, but the first time was 10 years ago and it was for two seedlings of cannabis."

Rose was in a car accident in 1985 and said he used cannabis for pain relief.

Rose was supported by the Nimbin Hemp Embassy members Michael Balderstone, Sam Bernard and Gerald Taylor, who stopped at the court house yesterday on their way to Canberra.

This year they are taking a large collapsible ‘joint’ to Parliament House.

The men are planning to ask Prime Minister John Howard to review the prohibition laws on cannabis.

"The studies on prohibition need to be reviewed so cannabis can be legalised," Mr Bernard said.

"Cannabis stays in the blood longer than any other drug. The hospital and crime figures are distort- ed. Cannabis is being blamed."

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