SEATTLE – Marijuana, known as a wonder drug to its advocates and the “Assassin of Youth” to critics of the plant, takes center stage again at the world’s largest cannabis re-legalization protestival, Seattle Hempfest 2010 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21-22. With legalization of marijuana on the horizon, this year’s Seattle Hempfest focuses on responsible use and harm reduction.
Admission to Seattle Hempfest is free, however, a suggested $10 donation is being requested to help offset the $350,000 operating cost. The event spans three Seattle waterfront parks: Elliott Bay Park (North Entrance), Myrtle Edwards Park, and Olympic Sculpture Park (South Entrance). Seattle Hempfest has been all volunteer for 19 years.
Speakers Dr. Roger A. Roffman, professor emeritus, University of Washington School of Social Work, and Dr. Mitch Earleywine, associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, collaborated with Hempfest Executive Director Vivian McPeak on this year’s Hempfest theme piece, Responsible Use and Harm Reduction. More information can be found at: http://hempfest.org/drupal/theme.
“Hempfest is addressing the issue of responsible use this year because we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to guarantee that everyone in our audience, especially youth, gets a balanced message,” said McPeak. “There is a conversation America needs to be having regarding cannabis. Only half of that conversation is about changing the law. The other half addresses how we can effectively integrate cannabis into mainstream America, and that part of the conversation involves responsible use and harm reduction.”
Other scheduled speakers include travel writer and TV host Rick Steves, Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, and executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Allen St. Pierre. A full list of speakers can be found here: http://hempfest.org/drupal/speakers.
Music helps carry the pro-legalization message at each Hempfest. A few of the acts on the Share Parker Main Stage include Grammy-nominated hip hop artist, Skeelo; Weed are the World featuring Lazie Bone and Thin C from the Grammy-award winning act Bone Thugs and Harmony; renowned singer/songwriter Joanne Rand; The Click Clack Boom from New York City; Big High featuring Barrett Martin (of Screaming Trees, Mad Season); and Grammy-nominated comedy rock group Green Jelly will perform on the Peter McWilliams Memorial Stage. Hempfest boasts five entertainment stages and a multitude of vendors and food purveyors.
This year Seattle Hempfest is dedicated to the late, great freedom fighter, Jack Herer. The author of the ground-breaking book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” Herer extolled the virtues of cannabis at last year’s Hempfest: “Hemp will be the future of mankind or there will be no future.” A brand-new reprint of the book will be available at this year’s event.
Seattle Hempfest is offering a new membership program for people wanting to become more involved in the movement. Perks include access to Hempfest’s no-wait member’s only entrance, and free entry into all member only events all year. More info at: http://hempfest.org/drupal/membership.
Background: The U.S. war against cannabis is illogical, immoral, and is a violation of human rights. In 5,000 years of human consumption, cannabis has not killed one person from overdose or toxic reaction. Yet, each year more than 400,000 Americans die from the effects of tobacco use.
About 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which victims perceive the offender to have been drinking at the time of the offense. Statistics show that alcohol is responsible for a highway death in the United States every 33 minutes. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to incarcerate people for cannabis when these two dangerous drugs are legal.
Vice President/ Chairman of the Board of Directors
Seattle Events, A Non-Profit Corporation
Producers of Seattle Hempfest