Hempfest Fans Rockin' The Joint

Hempfest Fans Rockin' The Joint
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2005 at 07:47:39 PT
By Julia Sommerfeld, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle, WA -- Spontaneous drum circles, stick jugglers wearing jester hats and a raffle for a 3 -foot-tall bong. It must be Hempfest.When the festival ends today, organizers expect the gathering  billed as "the world's phattest protestival"  to have drawn as many as 150,000 attendees to Myrtle Edwards Park for free concerts, pro-pot speeches and a milelong strip of hemp-based shopping opportunities. In the market for "hemp litter for small pets"?
The event, now in its 14th year, aims to decriminalize marijuana and legalize domestic hemp production. It's illegal to grow hemp  a cousin of marijuana  in the United States. But products made from it  such as paper, soap and granola mix  are legal to sell and consume. However, some consider the peasant skirts and ponchos commonly made from the fibers to be crimes of fashion.Amid the rope jewelry and $5 brownies yesterday, the medical marijuana movement took center stage with a speech by Angel Raich of California. Raich was the chief litigant in the U.S. Supreme Court case that earlier this year upheld the federal government's power to prosecute patients who smoke marijuana  and the people who grow it for them  despite state laws, including Washington's, that allow medicinal use."This war is far from over. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep fighting until there's no fight left," said Raich, who has been using cannabis since 1997. She suffers from a long list of medical conditions, including an inoperable brain tumor and chronic-wasting disease, which robs her of her appetite.Also speaking on behalf of medical marijuana laws was state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.Others were there to share less serious educational messages. "People mistakenly think B.C. bud is so special. But I can speak on behalf of the entire Hempfest staff when I say our local pot is far better," explained volunteer Rick Olson, who also works on the public-access show "THC TV."Many weren't shy about firing up a joint while they lounged in the park.Seattle police were there, but spokesman Sean Whitcomb explained, "Marijuana enforcement is one of our lowest priorities. Keeping the public safe is our No. 1 mission at Hempfest."But as fair warning, he added, "That doesn't mean we don't enforce a crime if it happens in front of an officer."In other words, it's not wise to rub their noses in it."This event is great for showing the public they shouldn't fear legalizing pot," explained Sara Sexton, 19, of Seattle. "We're just chilling, and there's never any trouble."Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Julia Sommerfeld, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: Sunday, August 21, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Hempfest -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 24, 2005 at 08:35:49 PT
You made me laugh. I haven't looked at all the pictures so far but I will. I see your had a MariHemp banner up. That's is so darn cool!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Hope on August 24, 2005 at 05:31:48 PT
Hempfest, pictures and reporting.
This looks so nice and fun. I'm glad they didn't do to you all what they did to those young people...and maybe some older people, in Utah last weekend.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Ron Bennett on August 24, 2005 at 02:13:01 PT
Link to some pics I took, and those others did
I didn't take that many pictures - partly due to my digital camera's battery going dead (forgot to bring charger) and mainly due to being occupied wandering around meeting folks, talking with vendors, and chilling out; medicating LOL!Link to about a dozen pics I took ... to about 100 or so more that other people took...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 23, 2005 at 10:52:21 PT
It sounds like you had a good time. Have a safe trip home. Looking forward to the pictures.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Ron Bennett on August 23, 2005 at 10:46:09 PT
Good time and learned many new things :)
Had a great time - I'm on my way out today from Seattle - typing this from the airport.Considering the size of the crowd, things were very calm - security folks appeared bored; they didn't seem to mind though - easy group for them.There were many good speakers including Ed Rosenthal, Jack Herer, etc ... was nice to finally meet many fellow activists in person - even with the net, etc networking in person is still important; how many things ultimately get done.What's so weird to me is how the Seattle police make a bigger issue out of jaywalking than toking - for those folks who think legalization would be chaos, Seattle Hempfest is proof-positive that's just not so ... no fights, etc - zero arrests.I'll post some pics, etc later this week once I get back and am caught up on things.Ron
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Truth on August 22, 2005 at 10:17:56 PT
Jacksonville sounds very uncivilized. We didn't see any trouble at all in Seattle even with 100,000 plus folks there. Martha and I did get a chance to talk to Loretta Nall. She told us about her upcoming run for Governor in Alabama. She said it's going to be a "hoot" as she is running against the 10 commandments judge.Ed offered us up a bowl, he does have the dank.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by andylee on August 21, 2005 at 13:04:49 PT:
Wish Jacksonville Hemp fest was like this.
Seattle police were there, but spokesman Sean Whitcomb explained, "Marijuana enforcement is one of our lowest priorities. Keeping the public safe is our No. 1 mission at Hempfest."Unfortunatly most officers don't see it this way. Jacksonville Hempfest the police actually harm the public. They don't even patrol in uniform anymore at the event, they have at least 20 under cover officers intermingled in the maybe 200 people that show up. U spark one, you WILL be tackeled to the ground and more than likely be maced in the face if you even so as flinch like you might resist. All in all you don't even realize it's the cops because some random dude jumps out at you. I've been threatened for even taking pictures of the undercover officers doing such acts.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by goneposthole on August 21, 2005 at 10:20:02 PT
hempfest is a winner
You can't argue with success.  Cannabis isn't going to go away... ever.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 21, 2005 at 10:12:01 PT
Woo Woo Woo Ron!
You go guy! Have a great time and tell us all about it when you get back.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Ron Bennett on August 21, 2005 at 09:44:54 PT
I'm at Hempfest now -good times and networking
I'm at Hempfest now - having a great time so far and networking with other folks working for real, meaningful drug policy reforms; learned some new things.Definitely recommend everyone, who is able, to be at Seattle Hempfest (by far the biggest!) next year - it's worth the trip :)Ron
Hempfest's website - check later this week for 2005 pics
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment