Just sing like everybody else…

It’s that time of the week again ladies and gentleman, the time where we ask you to take some time, wind down, take some time out of your day, some time to sit back relax and most of all open up a A Mind of Its Own. Read along as we embark on yet another adventure into the wonderful world around us. This week we decided not to venture into the wilderness of unknown mass social gatherings in which we were overwhelmed by the smell of youth and their lack of care over personal hygiene.

I’d love to say we avoided gatherings of youth and poor choices in personal hygiene but alas we did not. In fact compared to where we ended up this weekend our adventures into the world of cosplay and pop culture masses were much more hygienic and less potent on the old nostrils. By now you’re thinking where on Earth did they end up and what did they end up doing? Well the west is about an hour West of the iconic Byron Bay in the little well-known town of Nimbin.

As we drove into town the mental image I had in my head of Bob Marley looking white folk was shattered. Driving through the main street was enough to have me start winding up the windows and locking the doors let alone get out of the vehicle. So we did just that like all good journalist chasing a story in war zone. Ok Nimbin isn’t quite downtown Fallujah. The team and I left the safety and comfort of our vehicle. I must say I was surprised that upon exiting the car that I didn’t receive a contact high from all the Ganja burning being smoked by locals but I honestly could not smell any pot. Yep Nimbin that’s two strikes, you disappointed me once again.

Walking along the main street of Nimbin, ironically Cullen street, surely no relation to any stoner relatives I may or may not have from yesteryear, a couple of things started to occur to me. Firstly everything I had heard about Nimbin was proving to be utterly false and secondly there was probably more ice addicts roaming the streets then the lovable, happy-go-lucky pot smokers. What was going on? It was like watching an episode of Sydney Weekender with Mike Whitney walking around a place that no one would ever want to go.

Midway down the main street it finally hit me that somewhat pungent yet sweet smell (Queue questions from parents and family members on how I know what it smells like. That’s a story for another day but I grew up in Canberra remember where there are 3 things biggest industries are… Weed, Fireworks and the biggest porn trade in Australia, thanks pollies you guys are hypocritically great!)

The highlight of our little walk down the main street proved to be the fire pit next to the pop up medical dispensary that had some scantily clad youths who like, the fire looked a little baked. Ok so there were some stoners still about and they did not disappoint at they swayed to the non-existent mellow tunes playing. One gentleman rapped his way through a crowd of people clearly still feeling the effects of whatever it was that he had decided was good for his system that morning.

Back to that hygiene issue, if we thought pop culture conventions were smelly Nimbin was taking it to a whole new level. I was starting to wonder if plumbing had made its way to into the town. The smell of BO was so overpowering in some parts it overpowered the smell of reefer in the air. Again I was on the hunt for some air freshener or hemp based deodorant, hell I would have been happy to sponsor the whole town as long as they took a shower in a can and regularly used it.

So besides Bob Marley what was it that I was expecting to see in Nimbin? Oh yeah that’s right pot I was expecting to see some Marijuana somewhere or at least a hash cookie or two, heck in a pot brownie would have made my day. The closest we came was the hemp store selling anything you could almost think of made from yep you guessed it hemp. I was tempted by the floppy hemp hats however the idea of this little excursion that just so happened to be by accident was to get an insight to the hinterlands iconic happy town of Nimbin.

The more I think about the more I think I expected Nimbin to be a fun, happy little town, well it was looking quite run down and there were more than one or two people who looked a little sketchy and like they’d be quite happy to mug me for my cash or lack thereof in my wallet.

So no hats were purchased, not cookies, brownies or any other foods containing the sticky icky but we did do a lot of people watching. Feeling unsafe and constantly checking our pockets for personal items Nimbin had made its way onto the list of places we wouldn’t be coming back to anytime soon. We would miss the signs stating how weed was the people’s drug of choice while the government preferred alcohol and tobacco. Yeah we giggled a little at the politically charged billboard.

Here i was thinking this was a haven for people to live an alternative lifestyle, a place where the police turned a blind eye to the use of illegal narcotics. Maybe in the main street but get 10-15 kilometers out-of-town either side and Nimbin was hemmed in by Random Breath Testing (RBT) and drug testing. Smart play by the popo but word was starting to get around town about their shady tactics on a Monday.

After grabbing a coffee and running to back to the car as fast as our feet could carry us, the car was barely in gear before the wheels were spinning and we were racing out of there. Note to any would be bank robbers looking for a getaway car, the Mitsubishi mirage is not the car for you! Whilst it handles the corners quite well it does not have the zip of many other small cars available on the market.

The conversation in the car as we wound our way towards freedom, fresh air and a much-needed warm shower (Pretty sure I kept smelling my own armpits to ensure it wasn’t me that had smelt) turned to the legalisation of narcotics and whether legalising certain substances would stop people turning to ice, meth and heroin or whether it would create further issues for our law enforcement professionals. Legalisation of Marijuana for medical purposes we can see a point to, there is science to back up the claims particularly when coupled with cancer treatments and the like.

Legalisation of other drugs we aren’t so sure on, it may stop a lot of organised crime but it would also cause headaches for law enforcement and medical staff having to pump stomachs of those who overindulged or become heavily addicted. The only upside would be the quality of substance once being controlled and administered through federal pharmacies.

Whichever side you fall on in that debate is ok, people are entitled to their opinions and here at A Mind of Its Own, we hold no judgement. All we can say is there are pros and cons for both sides of the argument and if you’re reading along at home all we can suggest is don’t do them, you never know what’s in them or where they have come from. Not that you asked for our opinion.

So until next week we wish you a safe week, be cool, stay in school and don’t do drugs. If you have to, don’t do them in Nimbin and always make sure you are around friends who will look after you. Be safe folks!

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