Hempfest Attracts Crowd of Marijuana Supporters
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Hempfest Attracts Crowd of Marijuana Supporters
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2010 at 19:03:06 PT
By Sharon Pian Chan, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times 
Seattle, WA -- While Pakalanalani dressed as a purple cannabis fairy with elf ears and handed out weed leis, doctors spoke at the Hemposium about patient use of medical marijuana. Hempfest spanned the serious to the stoned on Seattle's waterfront Saturday.Crowds packed Myrtle Edwards Park, Elliott Bay Park and Olympic Sculpture Park to listen to music, browse more than 100 vendor booths and shop for bongs. As people stopped to take photos of her, Pakalanalani asked for donations that would help pay for her outfit. Donors received a lei.
Self-named for "heavenly plant," Pakalanalani traveled from Eugene, Ore., to attend Hempfest, which continues through Sunday.Saturday, about 150,000 turned out to lounge in the sun on the waterfront, organizers estimated."The young people are here to have a good time. The old people are here to educate and get young people to join in," said Allison Bigelow, a volunteer organizer who works as a patient advocate at Dunshee House, an HIV/AIDS support group in Seattle.Hempfest admission is free, but organizers suggest attendees make a $10 donation to cover the $350,000 event costs. Sponsors and booth-vendor fees also are used to pay for the event, which is run by volunteers.Sensible Washington used Hempfest to launch a second campaign to pass a voter initiative to legalize marijuana in 2011, after failing to collect enough signatures to put Initiative 1068 on the ballot this year."We know marijuana is just a safe, benign, therapeutic substance," said Douglas Hiatt, a medical-marijuana attorney and chair of Sensible Washington.For $1, Bong Pong attendees could bounce a Ping-Pong ball into a plastic cup and win a bong from the Fweedom Collective.Many attendees sported Mardi Gras beads with cannabis leaf-shaped beads.Nick Delmedico, a 19-year-old from Central Washington University, was playing Burt Bacharach on the tuba for contributions. His tuba case had a cardboard sign that read, "My parents smoked away my college funds."His mom was camped out on a lounge chair next to him.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author:   Sharon Pian Chan, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: August 21, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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