A mass party for users of the synthetic cannabis Kronic that was due to kick off tonight at a State Government-funded arts venue will be held at a new location.
After an announcement earlier today that The Bakery had been closed for 24 hours in the interest of public safety by the Police Liquor Enforcement Unit a Facebook page informed partygoers that the event would be held at the Civic Hotel in Inglewood.
The "Kronic Blowout" party now known as the "Say No to Illegal and Legal Drugs Concert" is due to end one minute before the ban on cannabinoids comes into effect but is touted as a "non-Kronic" party.
Premier Colin Barnett today blasted as inappropriate the “Kronic Blowout’ gig at Northbridge’s The Bakery.
He said Arts Minister John Day was writing to the operators of the publicly funded venue to detail his outrage at the move to host a party which encouraged people to smoke Kronic up until it become illegal at midnight.
“I think that is highly inappropriate,” Mr Barnett said. “Artrage is an organisation that is given State Government funding.
“The Minister for Arts has today written to Artrage and pointed out that it is inappropriate that a venue that they manage should be used for this.
“In no way should any organisation, particularly one that receives Government funding, either condone encourage or facilitate drug use.
“I would hope that they reconsider their decision to hold this event.
“When you receive Government funding with it goes some mutual obligations and responsibilities.
“This is irresponsible and the Government has no tolerance for this behaviour.”
Mr Barnett said he had expected police at the gig.
“I would be very surprised if the police are not there,” he said.
The thumb nosing at the Barnett Government, which introduced regulations on Monday to outlaw the synthetic cannabinoid, came yesterday after the makers of Kronic said on their website a new "Aussie Gold" formula had been released to be sold legally in WA.
Joel Voyage, who runs a non- registered "hobby business" Voyage Promotions, promoted the Kronic Blowout gig at Northbridge venue The Bakery on social networking site Facebook.
Mr Voyage said the gig was a comment on a "ridiculous situation" driven by Government and media fear mongering.
"This is a simple night at the pub welcoming prohibition and anyone attending is adult and entirely capable of making their own decisions," he said by email.
The flyer for the show - headlined by WA reggae outfit Sunshine Brothers - advertises a performance from DJ Krolin Barnett and offers a prize for the biggest Kronic spliff rolled on the night.
Despite the show taking a pot-shot at politicians who hold its purse strings, Artrage chief executive Marcus Canning said it would not stop the gig. "Our standard policy is that artists are entitled to express their views in whatever way they want as long as it is legal and does not put others at risk of harm," he said.
"As such, we do not censor works or the marketing of works by independent promoters and artists at the venue unless they are illegal." But Bakery backers Western Power and the State Government did not share Mr Canning’s view.
The Kronic Australia website says Aussie Gold is "legal in all Australian States, including WA", as of June 14.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said if the new product had any of the seven illegal chemicals in Kronic, users would be prosecuted. A mechanism to ban all new products was being explored.