President of The HEMP Party Michael Balderstone in Lismore.
President of The HEMP Party Michael Balderstone in Lismore.

How did Nimbin's cannabis campaigner fare in by-election?

WHILE he won't claim the seat of Eden-Monaro, Michael Balderstone is heading back to Nimbin proud of what his party achieved in Saturday's by-election.

Mr Balderstone led the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party campaign, having picked up more than 2000 votes at the time of publishing.

Mr Balderstone said he felt the party completed its mission of educating people about cannabis and getting medical cannabis and drug driving law reform on the agenda.

He said it was hard to stand up for cannabis reform, and felt people were reluctant to put their campaign posters on their fences for fear it might bring them unwelcome attention.

However, he said an election gave them the chance to have their say anonymously.

Mr Balderstone said this election offered a platform to spread the word on reform due to its proximity to Canberra, where cannabis use was decriminalised in January.

He said it was unjust an activity in one electorate was legal, while next door, it was a criminal offence.

He said because of this, people were missing out on life-changing treatment.

"I received an email from an Eden-Monaro mother whose disabled son has been using black market non psychoactive cannabis for years to control her son's severe epileptic seizures," Mr Balderstone said.

He said current laws meant the care facility where he lived would only allow the use of a legal Tilray product from Canada which will cost her $600 a month, "horrifyingly" more than the black market product.

"It should be as cheap as chips," he said.

"And if she lived in Canberra, she could grow her own and juice it for her son which would likely be even better."

The HEMP Party also campaigned against drug testing of drivers, which Mr Balderstone called "outrageous unfairness".

And for now, Mr Balderstone was heading back to Nimbin to enjoy "a quiet winter".