August 15, 2009 – Considered one of the largest annual gatherings in the world for the decriminalization of marijuana, the Seattle Hemp Fest will takehempfest1sm place August 15-16 in Myrtle Edwards, Olympic Sculpture and Elliott Bay Parks along the northern section of Seattle’s waterfront.

The two-day “protestival” will host seven stages presenting a compendium of music and comedy performances, as well as exhibits, displays, panel discussions and presentations on marijuana policy reform. In addition, a large collection of vendors will sell an array of hemp and other products, from food, clothing, jewelry and natural fragrances to bongs, arts and incense.

Since the birth of Hemp Fest in Seattle’s Volunteer Park 18 years ago, the event has grown from a quaint gathering of 500 local marijuana activists to more than 150,000 people, from the marginalized beatnik and avid pot-smoker to curious festival-goer and everyday family. Attendees trek from all over the country to attend the event, transforming the upscale, condominium towered neighborhood into a modern-day, Woodstock-esque celebration.

Seattle’s Hemp Fest is, as they say, “the real deal”. The festival is and represents an enormous cultural phenomenon that has moved from the backyard to front lawn of some of Seattle’s most prestigious public real estate. Long known for its liberal urban policies and innovative social programs, Seattle has served at the vanguard of the decades-long movement to legalize marijuana, a crusade that has graduated from the smoker’s pipe dream to frontline political debate.

And, yes, what you’ve heard is true: marijuana users imbibe their favorite cannabis of choice with Seattle police on peaceful mounted patrol only a few feet away; in past years, residents of neighboring Queen Anne hill have reported a thick “cannabis cloud” blanketing festival grounds.

With former Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske now the nation’s drug czar, this year’s event promises to be even more popular and relevant.

More information on Hemp Fest, including a calendar of performances and presentations, is available on
http://www.hempfest.org
Source.

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(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Three events are taking place this weekend that give a glimpse into how far we have come in the fight for the freedom of Hemp and Cannabis.Picture 1

First, this Friday, August 14th marks the 500th episode of the show Cannabis Common Sense (CCS), the show that tells the truth about marijuana and the politics behind its prohibition.

Over the years, CCS has featured such guests as Josh Tickell, Filmmaker; Keith Stroup, Founder of NORML; Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML; Madeline Martinez, Director of Oregon NORML; Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator; Elvy Musikka, Medical Marijuana Activist; John Trudell, Musician/Activist; Jack Herer, Hemp Activist; Dr. Tod Mikuriya; Dr. Phillip Leveque; Dennis Kucinich, US House of Representatives; Tim Pate, Musician/Activist; and more.

Cannabis Common Sense (CCS) is intended to educate the public on the uses of cannabis in our society. CCS is a Live call in show (503-288-4448), airing Friday nights at 8pm PST live from Portland Community Media in Portland, Oregon (channel 11). The program is also rebroadcast across Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

It is sponsored by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, also the main sponsor of this weekend’s Seattle Hempfest (http://hempfest.org) and political committee Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), advocating decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use. CRRH has developed a legislative model to legally regulate marijuana production and sales to adults called the Cannabis Tax Act.

Second, this weekend marks the 10th Anniversary of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF). THCF was founded by Douglas Paul Stanford in August 1999 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and is working to teach the truth concerning Hemp and Cannabis as well as helping medical marijuana patients.

THCF has several clinics where doctors help patients obtain a permit for medical marijuana. Their goal is to educate people about the medicinal, social and industrial uses for Cannabis in order to restore Hemp cultivation, ease pain for medical marijuana patients and end adult cannabis prohibition.

The third major event this weekend is the Seattle Hempfest. The event spans three Seattle waterfront parks: Elliott Bay Park (North Entrance), Myrtle Edwards Park, and Olympic Sculpture Park (South Entrance) and runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Admission to Hempfest is Free and features five stages of world-class music, a comedy stage, and is the largest gathering of speakers on Hemp and Cannabis policy reform in the world.

This year’s Hempfest theme is “A Decade After Prohibition, a Hempen Future” and looks forward to the year 2020, imagining that society has re-learned that the old, failed policies of prohibition did more damage than good, ignoring potential renewable resources and undermining respect for the rule of law. Eleven years after the decriminalization, taxation, and regulation of Cannabis and Hemp, America realizes the true ring of freedom.

Advocates say the community support in passing the important message of Cannabis Reform on to others is changing the way the nation views this valuable plant.

Watch for upcoming information on Portland’s annual event, Hempstalk, September 12 & 13th.

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July 31 2009 – Seattle – ​Could the world’s biggest celebration of ganja be gone-ja? (Now the article has its obligatory pot pun.) With a new administrationowljesterhempfest-thumb-450x164 that might be a little less drug war-crazy and hard times leading state governments to study the budget benefits of marijuana legalization, this should be a banner year for Hempfest. But festival organizers say banners may in fact be their undoing. That and the bum economy, of course.

The Parks Department, say organizers, is looking to collect $100 per “commercial banner,” its standard fee for events. Hempfest organizers didn’t pay the fees last year, and feel they shouldn’t have to this year either, as they believe that the city isn’t clear on what constitutes a commercial banner and that some of the fees may unconstitutionally suppress speech.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the city and the festival have clashed: They fought over permitting in both 2006 and 2007. “I don’t think the city is out to get us–they’ve been really fair to us, in general” says McPeak, who adds that “everyone’s looking to get revenue” in the bad economy. “But the best way to stop a free speech organization is to raise their costs until they can’t operate anymore.”

Both the Parks Department and Hempfest say they are awaiting an opinion from the City Attorney’s office on how the commercial banner rule should be interpreted; but neither the City Attorney’s office nor the Parks Department has responded yet to SW requests for further comment.

McPeak says Hempfest cost $260,000 last year, and ended up $3,000 in the black. (It’s a non-profit, all-volunteer affair, so the money goes back into the next year’s festival.) But money’s tighter this year. So he’s calling for people to pitch in. “Nationally, we have a dialogue on decriminalization, regulation, and legalization that we haven’t had in over thirty years. It would be a terrible time in the movement for Hempfest to go away.”

Should you like to send a token of support to the supporters of tokin’, you can do so via NORML. By Damon Agnos. Source.

July 12th, 2009 – Click the image to Play the Video
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