Seattle Hempfest draws mainstream politicians

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

hempfestThe 20th annual Seattle Hempfest drew an estimated 300,000 the weekend of Aug. 19-21—including some big-name politicians. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) exhorted from the stage, in an apparent reference to the 1999 World Trade Organization protests: "Seattle you shook the world once; can you shake it again, I ask you!" He urged support for such issues as withdrawal of US military troops from around the world, gay rights and universal health care, as well as an end to the war on drugs. Mike McGinn became the first Seattle mayor to address the Hempfest crowd. Other speakers included state representatives Roger Goodman and Mary Lou Dickerson, and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

The Seattle area has been slowly moving towards a more tolerant cannabis policy. In 1998, state lawmakers passed medical marijuana legislation for Washington. In 2001, Seattle made marijuana the lowest police priority. In 2008, city leaders said they will no longer prosecute simple possession cases. In July 2011, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance creating a regulatory framework for medical cannabis operations within city limits. Activists are now pushing Initiative 502, a statewide referendum to legalize cannabis.

A tent at Hempfest set up by a clinic called 4Evergreen Group offered on-site authorization to use medical marijuana for one year—for $150 if the patient had medical records; $200 with no medical records. Applicants watched a short instructional video and met with a naturopath before receiving a card to legally posses 1-½ pounds of cannabis and 15 plants. (, Aug. 21; Seattle Times, Aug. 20)

Graphic by Seattle Hempfest


Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman