Legalise Cannabis Victoria MPs have threatened to withdraw their support for the Labor Government on key policy issues after another heavy police presence and dozens of arrests at a 4/20 event in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens.

David Ettershank and Rachel Payne, whose votes are crucial in helping bills or motions across the line for Jacinta Allan’s ruling party, said the decision to employ a major police presence at the event “crossed a rubicon”.

Photo supplied by the Craze Collective

Around 60 officers were present for a picnic in the park which attracted approximately 300 people.

Close to 40 arrests were made for possession offences.

Ettershank, who absolved the police themselves from any criticism, described the presence of so many officers as a “staggering waste of resources”.

“The police commissioner is correct in saying parliament makes the rules, and it’s not for us to decide what laws are enforced or not,” he told Cannabiz.

“So in terms of those 40 arrests we don’t lay that at the feet of the police, we lay that at the feet of the government.

“The relationship between Legalise Cannabis and the government is reaching an all-time low. We are taking very personally the arrest of our people which is totally at odds with the supposed cannabis-friendly veneer that the government projects.”

Quoted in the Herald Sun, he added: “Here we are on a Saturday afternoon spending a tonne of money policing a few people enjoying a bit of weed in the park.

“We are genuinely pissed off at this government. We’ve reached a point where we don’t know how to do business with this government anymore.”

Photo supplied by the Craze Collective

Ettershank said there was “not a hint of agro” at the gathering of pro-legalisation supporters, and he praised the overall nature of the policing.

“They were a lot more low key than last year and in part that was because we obtained a permit from the City of Melbourne for the event and we talked to the police beforehand,” he said.

“Last year we saw medicinal cannabis patients being cable-tied as they were trying to explain they had a prescription. This year, if the cannabis was in a container with your name on it, and you had matching ID, you were sweet. The police respected that.”

“We had agreements as to how they would treat medcan patients.”

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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