This article originally appeared on 10 Daily
Local artists erected a 9 metre tall cannabis sculpture at the iconic Sydney location in a bid to keep the debate going about the legalisation of cannabis.
The towering artwork was installed in Martin Place in the early hours of Saturday morning, with the stunt marking an internationally-recognised day of cannabis that promotes civil disobedience.
The installation is called ‘Who Are We Hurting?’ (WAWH) and was put together overnight by a group of activists.
“We’re not pretending to have all the solutions. We just want to ignite discussion around the legality of a harmless plant. Who are we really hurting?”
It stands at 9 metres high and 4metres wide, and is sculpted from PVC and foam.
“We think big. And we think the issue of cannabis prohibition in Australia is also big, but not talked about enough,” a WAWH spokesperson said.
With an election underway, the group wanted to get cannabis back on the agenda.
“How does the cultivation, sale and consumption of a harmless plant land you in jail, while the government continues to tax and profit from known harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco?” a spokesperson said in a statement.
It's not the first time the weed activists have gained public attention.
In 2018, the collective placed a number of fake weed plants throughout Sydney city including Darling Harbour, McMahon’s Point Wharf and Martin Place.
In 2017, the collective leased a retail shopfront in Sydney’s Kings Cross and displayed a hydroponic ‘grow’ setup with fake cannabis plants, prompting police to investigate.
Cannabis laws have been a contentious public debate n Australia since medical cannabis was federally legalised in November 2016.
To-date more than 3 000 medical cannabis scripts have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
There are renewed calls in federal parliament for the legalisation of cannabis, including from minor parties such as the Australian Greens, Liberal Democrats and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.
In April 2018, then Treasurer Scott Morrison was clear about his stance.
"We don't support that policy".
Labor is also opposed to legalising cannabis.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged to hold a referendum on the legalisation of recreational cannabis in NZ by 2020