Kombi fest raid just a bit rum


ALL 53 drivers of vehicles in the Kombi Konvoy heading to Nimbin were pulled over at Goolmangar and breathalysed, according to organisers of the 13th annual Mardi Grass.

However, Michael Balderstone from the Hemp Embassy, was upbeat about the weekend, which saw less than 10 arrests and no major incidents.

"How would a rum festival go with that many people," he said. "The police had road blocks and breathalysers and busted a few people.

"But generally we've all worked together really well and kept it a safe event."

Police seized cannabis, LSD, ecstasy and hash resin resulting in "sev- eral" arrests for supply.

Superintendent Bruce Lyons said police were able to keep good order despite "trying circumstances" at times.

"Some sections of the community were of the belief that police would be turning a blind eye to drug activities," he said.

"But that was not the case."

Police said crowd numbers were down on last year's Mardi Grass, with estimates of 10,000 people on Saturday night and 5000 Sunday to watch the rally.

The colourful march was full of characters and messages ranging from the call to decriminalise marijuana to freeing Shapelle Corby (though those behind this sign may should have checked their facts with the sign calling to "Free Michelle Corby").

From giant joints to ganja faeries, the parade kept the onlookers amused and intrigued.

Nimbin's own self-regulatory measures came to the fore with one man with a loud speaker warning people about buying $10 yellow tablets - tell the crowds they were horse tranquilisers.

Long-serving faerie Bobbin Sheehan remembers feeling scared as just 50 people marched from the Bush Factory to the police station in the first rally.

"And that's all it was, with our slogans and smoking," he said.

"In those days I hardly ever smoked marijuana.

"But I did every now and then and I thought: 'I know I'm not a criminal'."

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