Australian Hashish Activists Protest THC Ban for Drivers


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A bunch of Australian hashish activists took to the streets of Sydney in a motorcade of navy autos to protest the failed Struggle on Medicine and insurance policies that punish drivers who’re discovered to have THC of their system. Recognized collectively because the Who Are We Hurting? Military, the group of activists staged their protest on 4/20, the worldwide hashish neighborhood’s excessive vacation. The contingent of navy autos together with a tank traveled by the Sydney Opera Home and Sydney Harbour Bridge, two well-known landmarks within the Australian metropolis that served because the backdrop for a protest on April 20, 2022, that featured hashish imagery projected on the enduring buildings. 

The organizers of final yr’s 4/20 protest, Alec Zammitt and Will Stolk, have been criminally charged for their actions underneath a legislation that bans the projection of business pictures on the Sydney Opera Home. The pair are on bail pending prosecution for his or her actions, which they preserve are a constitutionally protected protest of hashish prohibition in Australia.

For this yr’s demonstration, the group of activists secured a fleet of armored navy autos to journey all through Sydney to ship information about hashish on to Australian information retailers. The protest additionally aimed to spotlight the failures of the hashish coverage within the Australian state of New South Wales, which penalizes drivers who’re discovered to have THC of their system. Underneath the legislation, drivers discovered to have THC of their system are topic to legal penalties together with license suspension or revocation, stiff fines and imprisonment. Zammitt mentioned that the military-style motion was designed to spotlight the dangerous insurance policies of the failed Struggle on Medicine.

“This visible assertion goals to spotlight the necessity for a brand new method to drug-driving coverage, one which prioritizes hurt discount and remedy over punishment and incarceration,” Zammitt mentioned in a press release to the press. 

The activists be aware {that a} 2019 research by Sydney College’s Lambert Initiative, a analysis program investigating the medical potential of hashish, discovered that whereas drivers underneath the affect of high-potency THC merchandise exhibited extra lane weaving, different measures confirmed that intoxicated drivers had been considerably safer. Intoxicated drivers tended “to go away a bigger hole between them and the automobile in entrance” and confirmed “no tendency to hurry,” according to the research.

“Driving with THC, shouldn’t make you an enemy,” Zammitt added. “Driving legal guidelines want change. Hashish sufferers deserve equal vary.”

The protest was additionally designed to teach the general public about the advantages of hashish legalization, together with enhanced private freedom and the potential for brand spanking new sources of income for public providers that would include regulating and taxing business hashish manufacturing and gross sales.

“We wish to publicize the dialogue round hashish in Australia and ask the federal government, who could be harm by an amnesty?” mentioned fellow hashish activist Stolk. “We additionally wish to educate the Australian taxpayer on the advantages of absolutely legalizing hashish in Australia. There’s a large amount of cash that can move into the coffers of the Australian authorities, to be used in healthcare, faculties, and roads, from the tax excise that shall be taken from legalized hashish.”

“We additionally wish to spotlight the truth that the 75-plus yr struggle on medicine hasn’t labored and has value the taxpayer billions of {dollars} preventing a struggle that can’t and won’t ever be received,” Stolk continued.

The hashish coverage reform motion in Australia acquired a brand new increase lately when the Legalise Hashish NSW celebration elected Jeremy Buckingham as its first member of Parliament. Buckingham, a former Inexperienced Social gathering member, mentioned that he’ll spend a lot of his time in workplace advocating for the legalization of hashish and associated coverage reforms.

“I’m honored to have been elected as the primary MP for the Legalise Hashish NSW celebration,” he said in a statement. “I’m dedicated to advancing the reason for drug legislation reform and dealing in the direction of a extra simply and equitable society. I sit up for working with my colleagues in parliament and with the broader neighborhood to make this imaginative and prescient a actuality.” 



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