Dealer or healer? – A photobook about cannabis activism in Australia

(Bài viết này có phiên bản tiếng Việt TẠI ĐÂY)

This is the preview of my photo-book named “Dealer or healer?” – focuses on cannabis activism in Australia.

Part 1: S.H.A.M.E: Serious hippie and mother Earth?

Serious Hippy and Mother Earth – This is the story of Heather ‘Hippy Muso’ Gladman, one of many passionate Australian cannabis growers who are challenging laws that relate to the medical use of cannabis. On the 15th February 2016, Heather’s home was raided by five police officers; she was arrested for possessing more than forty cannabis plants. She now faces criminal charges for cultivating cannabis—even though she provides it on compassionate grounds, at no cost, for people who are ill. Following her arrest, Heather decided to take a stand by going on a hunger strike. Her goal was to secure an amnesty for cannabis growers until safe, legal medicinal cannabis is available.

Portrait of Heather Gladman on the 5th day of the hunger strike.


Cách mạng cần sa

On the following days, she camps in Treasury Garden in Melbourne CBD. Her supporters keep Heather company at the camp. She is in severe pain and is barely able to sit; her friend Ral offers to share a hotel room with her, which will allow her to rest at night.


Heather and her friends are in high spirits, despite her not eating.


On the day of the rally Heather and her supporters meet at Treasury Gardens then to march to Parliament House. In this picture, Heather tells her story to the crowd: she speaks passionately about the importance of medicinal cannabis and its benefits for people with illness and chronic pain. The crowd is with her.


At the end of the rally, on Day 18 of her hunger strike, Heather announces that she is ending her hunger strike. There are tears of happiness — she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received. That night she enjoys her first meal with her family.


Heather returns to her home, a converted train, and picks up the threads of her old life. She rests and prepares for her court appearance. In this picture, Stephen is Heather’s landlord. They discuss the events of the past week and she reads the Bible, which contains references to healing herbs.


After the third hearings. Heather was given 30 hours community service. To her, it was a big win for cannabis movement.


‘I live to fight again, I want every man, woman and child to have access to safe organic cannabis’ – Heather Gladman. Not long after, Heather gets a job offer from Nimbin Hemp Embassy, she then moves to Nimbin.

Phần 2: Nimbin – Home for the healing souls

Nimbin, home of the MardiGrass and the Nimbin Roots festival, is a healing retreat for the soul, located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia.

Nimbin is also the home of counter culture and the original hippies, who arrived in the early 1970s. It is the place where the Australian HEMP Party was founded, one of the few political parties to support the re-legalisation of cannabis in Australia.

The ultimate objective of the HEMP Party is to explore and promote the use of the Cannabis genus in three categories: recreational, industrial and medicinal. The party operates out of the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin – a place to connect, brainstorm, collaborate with and educate people about medicinal cannabis, and promote products made from industrial hemp.

For the last few decades, Nimbin has been a destination and refuge for many Australians whose own hometowns have rejected them for their alternative views on life; a place the outcasts, the artists (Nimbin is home to many wonderful galleries), the pariahs and of course the stoners could call home. A hometown where they can live, work, love and be loved again.

This book shows the beauty of Nimbin aesthetically through photographs; it also tells the stories of the people who have dedicated their lives to learning about and helping promote the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

Nimbin – a great place to become human again.



The main street of Nimbin is full of colors.


Nimbin - home for the healing souls

An illustration on the side of Nimbin Hemp Embassy.


Nimbin is one of many favourite stops in Australia for traveling artists from all over the world.


dealer or healer

Nimbin before dusk time.


Nimbin - home for the healing souls

Every Friday night, the locals gather in the main street to dance and play drum.


Portrait of a band member.


Nimbin - home for the healing souls

Conversation between Michael Balderstone (middle) – the president of Australian Hemp Party and Nimbin Hemp Embassy, his wife painter Elspeth Jones (Left) with their new friend Heather Gladman (right).


Nimbin - home for the healing souls

Portrait of Dave Cannabis – he works at Hemp Bar in Nimbin Hemp Embassy.


Nimbin - home for the healing souls

Portrait of Johny Ganja, Nimbin famous street singer. He is an immigrant from Indonesia. Without cannabis, he would not be able to do any work.


Aaron (on the ladder) works on his decoration for Mingle Park as he stated: “For tourists to take photos of”. From the help of Nimbin community and cannabis, he is recovering from his problem with alcohol.


Portrait of Rosemary – a half Greek half Aboriginal who lives in Nimbin to treat her cancer. When doctors give up on her. At the moment this picture was taken, she has been free from cancer for three months.

Below is the full layout of the book “Dealer or healer?”:


Please buy the book (Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book PDF) to support the photographer to do more projects like this


Photography and words by Danny Bach

Edited by Sally Holdsworth

Book Specification:

Format: Hardcover/Softcover/e-book (PDF)
Size: 8×10″ Portrait
Pages: 126 pp
Illustrations: 89 illustrations


For distributing, publishing or print sales please contact Danny directly.

Thanks for stopping by,


Danny Bach, September 21, 2017

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