This year MSM seemed not to pay attention to Seattle Hempfest as if it’s not prevalent or inconsequential, but I assure you, this is not the case. While thousands peacefully smoke their cannabis and enjoyed the sun, thousands of others have or will have their lives ruined by ignorance and bad law. Seattle Hempfest is 1.5-mile stretch fuck you to prohibition.
A 26-year long non-profit event, Seattle Hempfest has proven that America can be safer with legalization. A place where the people don’t fear the police and the police can actually serve and protect.
Many say Seattle Hempfest is irrelevant or sold out, but I say nay. It’s because of this event that you know the likes of Jack Herer; it’s because this event people know prohibition doesn’t work.
Throughout Hempfest, I joked that it’s the most anticlimactic protest because the only thing the mass consumption of cannabis kills is a pizza.
A Party with a Purpose
This year I had the luxury of attending as media and I would like to share my Protestival adventure. Not only was I media but this was also the most I’ve ever spent at Hempfest.
Attending Hempfest is idea for 2 or 3 hours a day or if you find a place to camp out with a blanket, all day. As a volunteer, 2 or 3 hours was the most time I ever experienced.
For three days I felt safe to smoke openly and was surrounded by like minded people who don’t agree with the bad law.
I not only felt safe from the police but Seattle Hempfest has the largest volunteer staff trained in CPR and rapid response.
Friday, the first day and the slowest due to protesters coming in from out of state or have jobs because that’s what responsible people (stoners) do.
Friday is when the dust and house settles for the Hempfest Staff, allowing them to find out if anything is missing, i.e., booth spaces, vendor needs, and overall setup of the 1.5-mile park.
I arrived at 10 am to see Hempfest slowly wake up. Vendors were just arriving, food cooking, volunteers scrambling, and organizers coordinating guests and staff for the three-day show has just begun.
Upon entering, I ran into my friend Jared Allaway. Jared was volunteering at the main Hempfest booth. If you’ve seen shirts or panties that say “Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol” than you’ve seen Jared’s handy work. Jared started Safer Shirts, an organization devoted to giving away free shirts to educate the masses with one sentence for “Marijuana is Safer Than Most Shit.”
I left Jared to continue my 3-mile adventure.
Sun, Weed, and Shade; What Else Do You Need?
Hempfest to me is the most anticlimactic protest, but it’s also the most powerful because it’s not about screaming and yelling to put your point across, it’s sitting down, able to have a fucking moment of humanity with smoking cannabis with no fear of repercussions and condemnation.
My first selfie and smokeout was with Master Bong. Master Bong is not only the master of bongs but is a media content mad man. I encountered him on his way to the social weedia tent (Which I never found). We puffed on my Legit Canna preroll and talked about events in marijuana media.
After our pleasantries, I continued with my 1.5 miles return trip where I ran into Farmer Tom and his posse.
Farmer Tom is a staple of the industry. He is presently the only federally recognized organic cannabis farmer. In 2015, representatives from several alphabet agencies came out and did an ergonomic and organic study of Tom’s farm. There’s more to cover on Tom, which I will discuss in a feature article, but the one thing I would like to put out there is When you find the farmer, you found the best weed at that event.
I made a new friend through Tom named Doc Hubbard, a veterinarian from New Orleans, who uses cannabis to treat several ailments.
Watching Doc’s awe reminded me over and over again about why Seattle Hempfest is important. In Louisiana a joint can and will be used against you, this is what makes America not great: The imbalance of power and priorities of justice.
Doc got to see people freely exchanging and consuming cannabis in front of police officers throughout the day. A place where the real crime is the priority and not some arbitrary bullshit that makes as much sense as separate drinking fountains.
Forums, Speakers, And Music
This year Hempfest was comprised of 4 stages when at times it had 5 or 6. You can fit a lot on 1.5 miles and not get in the way. This year had fewer stages but was still a grand festival.
The first booth one encounters from the Fisherman’s Wharf side is the Main Hempfest Booth. Beyond the main booth and the first stage is the Hemposium, where multiple speaking panels are held, along with performances.
Hempfest 2017Washington Cannabis Industry" Report Card Panel 1 of 3Douglas Hiatt, John Novak, Danielle Rosellison, Neil Juneja
Posted by KimMarie Novak on Sunday, August 20, 2017
I had a chance to stop and listen to Washington Cannabis Industry: Report Card panel. Consisting of Doug Hiatt, John Novack, Danielle Rosellison, and Neil Juneja.
Many try to sugar coat the issues, especially if you’re making money in the industry, but the truth is the medical marijuana program that Washington State had was the best market for the consumer. People will say “But there was no regulation then, how was it better?” and I say “What is regulation?”.
Washington still has work to do for what is the definition of legalization, but it’s getting there. There’s a pending plea for the WSLCB to proceed with a homegrow study that will help establish the law.
The End of The First Day
The public festivities are pretty much over by 7 pm which is when the speaker’s social begins then it turns into the V.I.P after party at 8. I had the opportunity to attend the party, but at this point, I was burnt out and wanted to get home to the wife and kids, just to do it again the next day.
What I did at Hempfest was enough to put me away for life in some states or even persecuted for in small minded America, this is why Hempfest is still relevant. Stay tuned for part two of How I Danced With The Devil’s Lettuce.