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Dispatches from Hempfest

Posted by Realist on August 18, 2008 – 1:13 am

Saturday was a scorcher in Seattle, 97 at least, and hotter than that in the sun in an over-crowded beach front park. This was the most crowded I’ve ever seen a Hempfest. If 150,000 came over the two days last year, this year they all came on Saturday. The strangest vibe was in the air, edgy, cranky and irritable. Year 17 and the amateurs have “discovered” Hempfest. Old-timers were praying for a good ole fashioned lightening storms and pounding rain to drive out the Noobs. No such luck, we just had to listen to them piss and whine. But there were enough serendipitous encounters with friendlies and if you avoided the cranks, pleasant enough despite the heat.

Once again, Rick Steves was the Keynote Speaker. (They always give him the 4:05 to 4:20 time-slot) He’s a bit of a local celeb, his “Europe Through the Backdoor” programs on PBS has gotten him a national audience and book empire. But he’s willing to risk all that to say that America’s marijuana laws are mis-guided, ineffective and wrong. He has recorded a program interview with the ACLU, and has a very educational website.

Other speakers included Keith Stroup and Allen St. Pierre (founder & legal counsel; Executive Director: NORML) who promised to bring the National NORML Convention to Seattle in 2009.

This one’s for you Mags! I stopped and chatted with these nice folks and they gave me stickers!

Hempfest has peacefully co-existed with the Art Museum’s new sculpture park now for a couple years. After they saw the dedicated clean-up efforts that are undertaken by dedicated volunteers each year, they’ve loosened up a bit and let us walk past a few of the “art” works. Much more vibrant and exciting are the impromptu art pieces that pop-up, such as the 4 hour old
“Stoner’s Henge”

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  1. 1. Anntichrist S. Coulter Said:

    Ohhhh, just keep rubbing it in, whydontcha… *sigh*

    I’d have to say, the really shocking part was “RICK STEVES???!?!?!” That uptight little WASP is for stoners’ rights?!!?!?!

    Knock me over with a fuckin’ feather. I guess I need to wait for the rerun of that Amsterdam episode on PBS, huh…

  2. 2. Anntichrist S. Coulter Said:

    P.S. Of all of the sickening, gross, and somewhat horrifying things that sarcoidosis has done to my body, MAKING ME GIVE UP MY DIME-BAG A WEEK is the part that really pissed me off!!!

  3. 3. Anntichrist S. Coulter Said:

    Oops. Dime-bag a MONTH.


    That’s why they call it “dope,” huh.


  4. 4. Terrible Said:

    One of these years……

  5. 5. GI JEW Said:

    Hello. I’m honored that my little creation is getting some mention. After creating stoner henge we had no idea that people would be taking pictures of it literally every other minute. It’s also on the seattle PI’s site. On the subject of the whole “noob” thing: It’s true. For example the fighting that went on over joints thrown into the crowd at 4:20. That is not what hempfest is about. We shouldn’t be getting into fights for it. Also people with poor manners knocking over your hookah is a big downer.

    All in all it was however pleasant spending most of both days camped out at stoner henge.

  6. 6. Anntichrist S. Coulter Said:

    Cool! And again, very VERY fucking jealous. Not only could I not be there, I couldn’t do anything but salivate at the second-hand smoke if I *could* get out there.

    Y’all don’t even know how good y’all have it… but I feel yer pain with the fucking TOURISTS. Believe me, I know what it’s like once those morons decide to colonize your homeland festival. And the animosity that would be required to run them off would probably be detrimental to everything that y’all are trying to accomplish, so how in the hell DO you run the fuckers off?!?!?!

  7. 7. SeattleTammy Said:

    Hi gi jew!
    I’m so glad you found my picture. Your stacked rocks truly were a lovely spot that told us the spirit was still there, even if the uglies tried to stomp on it.

    Thinking of going to Oly on Saturday. I’ll look for you next to rocks ;o)

    And, yes, we were at the main stage at 4:20, and said huh? WTF just happened?

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