Monday, July 27, 2009

Police Enjoy Excellent Free Rock Festival At Byron Bay With Smiling Happy People

By Darryl Mason

The NSW government missed yet another golden opportunity to raise a couple of hundred dollars in taxes over the weekend.

More than 200 people were caught with drugs at the Splendour in the Grass music festival...

Out of a crowd of 17,500 people. In Byron Bay. At a music festival where the Hilltop Hoods, Happy Mondays and Living End were playing.

One-hundred-and-twenty people were ordered to face court on drug charges, while another 89 were let off with a caution for having cannabis.

From the cautions issued by police to "Shit! I can't believe I left that in my pocket!" cannabis carriers at some of the festivals this year, it would appear you can get busted with no more than two cigarette-sized joints and not get fined, or have to turn up at court.

Police should ditch the cannabis 'cautions' altogether and thank the festival goers for not getting violently fucked out of their minds on alcohol. Ask a police officer who'd they'd rather deal with : a giggling kebab-obsessed cannabis user, or someone so savagely drunk and fired with aggro that even a taser to the nuts doesn't wind them down.

Put it this way, there are few, if any, cannabis-related glassings.

If the NSW government granted a permit to music festival organisers so vendors could, under police supervision, sell, say, two moderately strong joints, or happy cookies, to each ticket holder over 18, taxed at the same rate the government taxes alcohol sales, at least $200,000 would have been raised.

Similar rules for drink driving would also apply to cannabis imbibers.

The majority of people who now attend expensive music festivals don't want to bucket a quarter ounce in an afternoon, or get blitzed on scuds the size of wallpaper rolls. They want a couple of puffs, or a few bites of a brownie, to help kick the music along.

Then Wayne Swann and Malcolm Turnbull could sway together at Simon & Garfunkel without being criminals.