August 19, 2007

Stoned to Death in Seattle: Hempfest 2007 Comes to Town

They came from the hills and mountains,
The valleys and the plains.
Some were kind and gentle,
And some too wild to tame.
A string of fearless hearts, on an endless ball of twine.
It's the same old train, it's just a different time.

-- Clint Black | Same Old Train

It's the "sweet sixteen" Hempfest down by the sound in ye olde Seattle. Yes, sixteen years of celebrating reduced cerebration busts loose in Myrtle Edwards Park; a slim strip of grass, driftwood, and a breakwater bracketed by genetic research institutes and the world's worst modern sculpture park.

It's a strange celebration and not only because the thousands attending are strange by birth, design and recent inhalation, but because the drug it celebrates is officially not in attendance. It's like an Oktoberfest without the beer.


Actually, dogs do get in even if they don't exactly run free. Everything else seem to be expressly prohibited. And to judge by the furtive deals going on down by the breakwater, the "Drug Free" zone is an illusion. The drugs here are anything but free. Ditto the burritos, bongs, and hemp brownies. Other than that, the crowd -- running to type and overwhelming predictability -- underscores the last line. No matter what else may be going on, This is not a free zone. It's a zone bounded by ritual and tedium.

I no longer remember, if I ever did, exactly what we had in mind at the San Francisco Acid Tests or the Human Be-In, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't anything as obvious as all this. We were, I believe, trying to "change the world," not sell it a hemp t-shirt.


And it costs a "donation" of five bucks too. But you do get your crotch patted by security as an added benefit.


That paid you can move inside to be with the beautiful people and be assured you are "totally good" because you have, by the mere act of attending Hempfest, 'become the change you want to see.'

Confused but fine sounding bromides such as this are the order of the day.


The other theme that knits this bizarre replication of the middle ages together is the overwhelming presence of "artisan handcrafts" in the form of the hand-blown glass bong. Somewhere, probably in an obscure province of China, whole villages are dedicated to blowing molten glass and shaping them into these items. And all along the waterfront here today endless vendors are displaying them in all shapes and sizes.

Now you might think that everyone attending Hempfest already has their own personal bong, but evidently that's not the case. There's a brisk business going on. There's also a lot of testing of the new bongs on the side as the local police wisely decide to wander only intermittently through the crowd.


One of the many "Minstrels of Marijuana" that will take the stage and sing endless anthems promoting the weed. Strangely enough, nobody seems to be able to do a cover of the classic Bob Dylan raga, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35:
"I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned."

Here you are anything but alone.


Instead, you are free to festivate wildly and dance the dance of the free where the persistence of the hand-painted peace symbol on the bare belly is still new after at least three decades.


Then there are others who have obviously not stopped festivating for three decades straight.


This woman will only dance when you put money in her tip jar. After about ten minutes the donations dry up.


Then there are those kids whose every trip has been a bad trip and are not shy about letting you know it.


Hairstyle least likely to catch on unless you are very, very, very stoned and even then you'll wake up screaming, "My God what have I done!"


New and startling insights into reality are also the order of the day.


As are not-so-new and revolting foods. This stand makes money from the credulous and the young who actually believe that by ingesting things made with hemp you are ingesting cannabis. But neither the smoothies nor the brownies have anything to do with The Alice B. Toklas cookbook. Just another example of how the school system fails the youth of America even when it comes to one of the few things that actually seems to interest them.


Lest we forget, "Marijuana is medicine." Right. Check. Next. Pass that joint and hit the drum.


Even the dogs are into it. But they, at least, have a certain amount of dignity.


Others just slap on a hat and hope for the best.


The battle of the two religions of Hempfest: "God made this plant and God does not make mistakes, does he? Well, does he?"


Others have had so much of the God made plant they need to be hand fed.


One of the hundred butt flowers that are observed to bloom.


And it is clear that personal style is the order of the day.


Still others are still able to plan for the future, but only if it involves Yo-yos. Still, a man's gotta have a dream.


And it wouldn't be a Seattle event, or indeed a "new-age" event of any kind, without the presence of people who -- without any drugs at all -- have had their little red choo-choo go right round the bend. Then again, if I wanted to promulgate these lies I'd pick an event with a lot of young people were sure to be stoned.


The problem of course with being stoned all the time is that it leads to the kind of desensitization that makes getting lots of holes bored into your face seem like a really cool idea. This may lead to certain extended waits at airport security, but since you can't get a job that will give you enough money to fly, who cares?


Indeed, you can -- it would seem -- even get to the point where running eight hooks into your back and lacing them up can seem like a brilliant fashion statement.


It's even better when infection starts to set in. Attractive, no? Seeing this I try to keep the word "ripcord" out of my mind. But it's no go.


Elsewhere, banners bright flap against a brilliant afternoon...


while the less than brilliant effects of a bit too much to smoke set in.


Mother and daughter team up to send a message in a bottle to a world that really has nothing to do with them and no future lined up for them. The fact that the mom sees nothing wrong at all going on here is really all you need to know about their life when they aren't festivating here at Hempfest.


You'll have to take my word for it that out of the thousands of people at Hempfest, this man was the most elegantly dressed.


Meanwhile someone else thought it would be a good idea to shred a Bible and toss the pages on the path so that everyone could walk on them.


The authorities wisely decided to put the Rose Garden off-limits. After all, it was not promised.


Dreadlocks, two kids, and a long, hard road ahead.


Singles attending Hempfest had, to an unusual extent, either dogs with them or signs tell everyone that they, at least, had a dog.


The Revolution ("Louisiana Goddamn! Free the Jena 6!" Huh? Who? ) newspaper is seeking to extract a cool half-million from the capitalist system so that nobody associated with it has to get, well, a job. In addition, a brief conversation with the fund-raiser revealed that they actually believe the power structure of the United States actually gives a shit about them. Amazing.


This year's unofficial theme.


A final reminder that Seattle, of all the urban areas of the US, is by far the whitest place in the lower 48.


And, as you exit, yet another cause that has never before actually come to mind. So many pollutants. So little time.


Street art at sunset. Bong hits for all. Where to? What next? Why bother?

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Posted by Vanderleun at August 19, 2007 2:48 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Is there anything sadder than 21st century young people trying to imitate the glory days of hippiedom? Yes, '60s hippies still being '60s hippies in the 21st century.

Or maybe it is seeing someone I'm sure I recognize. Yikes!

Posted by: Pal2Pal at August 19, 2007 5:07 PM

G-r-r! Get this freakin' bandanna offa me or the other dog's 'll think I'm gay! And can we go home now? Nobody here but a bunch of stoners and loser wannabes. They all smell BAD!

Posted by: Mike Anderson at August 19, 2007 6:28 PM

There are a lot of dirty, ignorant, delightfully stupid white people in Seattle. But it's still a great town. Give my regards to the Blue Moon on 45th.

Posted by: Jack Nigh at August 19, 2007 8:50 PM

Thanks for going for the rest of us. What an unbelievably stupid event.

Nice commentary too.

Posted by: spacemonkey at August 19, 2007 9:15 PM

About 8 years ago my 9yo son and I were riding our bikes along the waterfront and found ourselves in the middle of this mess. We made it through from end to end and I was concerned about his exposure to these people. I watched him as we pushed our bikes through the crowd and he was obviously scared shitless and when we got through I asked him what he thought.
" Those people were pathetic" he said.
I give him 10 bonus points for the correct use of the word.
Just proud of the boy.
From a 60's hippie

Posted by: Rick at August 19, 2007 9:17 PM

I spent the better part of two decades stoned, and I never thought getting holes bored into my face would be a good idea, nor would I have thought bloomin' butt flowers were attractive. There's some other nihilistic strain of something present in these folks that we didn't have back in my day. "The kids are NOT Alright." At least, those aren't.

I have to admit though, I went through that twice and laughed my self silly both times.

Posted by: Hucbald at August 19, 2007 9:20 PM

This is the type of religion you end up with when you think you don't have one.

Posted by: Vexorg at August 19, 2007 11:31 PM

I went to a New England liberal arts college full of stoners like that, and yes, all their ideas about human nature and social change are BS. However, my friends and I were different, liberal, yes, radical even...but sober and articulate. I don't think I have to be too hopeless that there are more of us out there doing brilliant things in art, science and politics.

Posted by: at August 19, 2007 11:42 PM

Sure, cannabis is terrible stuff - after all, the really strong version can make you schizophrenic.

Of course, it's perfectly OK that millions of Americans are currently dependent on psychotropic drugs, some of which are hepatotoxic. THC = bad. Prescribed Valium or Prozac = good. Right. I understand now.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at August 20, 2007 1:31 AM

Just a brilliant post in an odd way.

I like the bright banners.
The patriotic star and feather hat, and
the all-American word FREE.

And pathetic does spring to mind.

Are these guys any more deluded than
the NYT. They certainly seem more

Posted by: Rob at August 20, 2007 4:00 AM

Dude! The only place you'd be more likely to get a critical mass of weirdness would be Berkeley. Loved the snarky commentary...

Posted by: Clyde at August 20, 2007 5:03 AM

When I forwarded this to some friends, Spell Check tried to change Hempfest to Herpes. I'm just sayin'.....

Posted by: instapundit reader at August 20, 2007 6:04 AM

Hmmm, there certainly seems to be a lot of hostility toward these folks. Obviously, there was a lot of hucksterism going on, but shouldn't we really just legalize marijuana, tax it, and use the revenue to help pay for medical treatment for disabled people?

Who sprayed something bad on your weed?


Posted by: different memory at August 20, 2007 6:05 AM

Fletcher, why do you hate America and Americans so much? It's okay to hide behind the safety of the US military. Many Americans hate that fact and still stay here. Just 'cause my daughter has the guts to help eliminate dictators and terrorists, and you don't, shouldn't make you so defensive...

Posted by: JD at August 20, 2007 7:16 AM

Love these event pictographics. People watching at such fests is often an amusing bit of anthropological observation of an obsolete yet vibrant culture.


Posted by: DJ at August 20, 2007 7:40 AM

When it comes to Hempfest, and maybe even Seattle.....isn't it getting time to, er, you know, man er, isn't it getting time to.....well, you know, to like


no pun intended of course....just wondering,man.

Posted by: Webutante at August 20, 2007 9:19 AM

what's wrong with a bong hit or 2 before breakfast?

Dave O fron the 'Nati

Posted by: Dave at August 20, 2007 10:13 AM

What was the B.O. factor like?

On another note, the colors seemed really....vivid. Was the camera affected by all the second hand smoke?

Posted by: gabrielpicasso at August 20, 2007 10:53 AM

Funny thing about pot.

It actually makes brain cells grow. You can look it up. BTW this effect is common with other anti-depressants as well.

Why do people use pot?

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

Posted by: M. Simon at August 20, 2007 11:40 AM

I am a 57 y.o. "old Hippie" with a prescription for medical marijuana in WA, although I am a New Englander, only been here three years.

Why the negativity? No riots, damage, like WTO. No fights. So, you say, 'because everyone is stoned', like that's a bad thing??

There was so much diversity, I had a blast. I saw microsoft executives, freaks, stoners, entrepreneurs and folks from all walks of life. Babies, to too old to walk - all getting along and smiling. Do people smiling, dancing and having fun irritate you all that much?

If you can't appreciate a great party, don't come!

You mention only the items for sale, the merchandising. Why not mention the scores of world renowned speakers, authors, media people there, including the very straight looking Rick Steves (yes, the Travel Channel). Too bad, Norm Stamper, the ex Seattle chief of police and bestselling author couldn't come this year like last year.

So, in spite of the lies in this "American Digest" of false information, diversity was the word, along with peace and love.

Peace, love, revolution.

The meek WILL inherit the world.

Posted by: doglove at August 20, 2007 12:39 PM

JD, I was using the example of Americans because of my possibly incorrect assumption that most readers of this blog are American.

In fact, precisely the same phenomenon, the War Against (Some) Drugs, is evident in the UK and also probably other countries as well.

The main point stands; sure, THC is toxic and does horrible things to your brain. Dozens of other drugs, most of them perfectly legal, are worse - and are prescribed in large amounts to millions of people worldwide. In addition, prescription tranquillisers are addictive whereas cannabis, if it is at all, is much less so.

An even better example is tobacco - viciously addictive and gives you cancer, and perfectly legal to buy over the counter.

I may be wrong, but it looks to me as if the real objection is to a non-mainstream lifestyle. Does it really hurt you, for example, if someone else chooses to push metal through his face?

And of course the very fact that assorted drugs are illegal fuels various sorts of crime. Make drugs legal, and the pushers - and the people who sell them guns - are out of business.

If pushing drugs should be illegal, then your friendly GP should be in jail.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at August 20, 2007 3:19 PM

"..The kid can't read at seventeen
The words he knows are all obscene
But it's alright.."

Posted by: k6whp at August 20, 2007 4:35 PM

Never let it be said we don't have other points of view about hot issues here at American Digest. Here's somebody who, I think, enjoyed it.

I'll let him speak for himself:

The celebration starts at noon,

but I dont get there til 4:30pm.

I went and picked up Mia and her boyfriend and we drove down to myrtle beach, and had a fuckin hard time finding a spot. drove way the fuck down elliot that then turned into Western. Fuckin, sat at a light and turned to Mia and was like "dude, I am so fuckin tempted" and her boy is like "you should do it, I'm sure you'll get a away with it."

So I flipped a bitch and made a U-Turn in the middle of fuckin Western! We screamed as it happened, I'm like "FUUCCKKIN AA....SHITTT!! FUCK YEAH MAN!!" hahahaha.

My body was aching to smoke in the wide open. Anyways, finally get a parking stop and we head over there. At first was a bit nervous, cuz there were a bunch of cops at the entrance. They werent going in, in fact I dont think they were allowed in for a while.

I bought the coolest Steamroller! FUCKIN AWESOME, its blue and purple kinda, its fuckin great. everyone loves it.

There were so many people, if was crazy. We found a spot on the rocks, were I ran into the dealer I got my shit from and we partied with them a bit. Then as we were sitting there, fuckin twenty drug deals went down in my fuckin face.

Man I was smokin my shit by then. We walked the entire five mile stretch of this fuckin festivial. I loved it, it was the best day of my life!!

At 7 or so we headed back up to the corn and the after hangin out with KAin and all them fools, I was like...naw I aint gonna do some LSD, and I went to my dads apt instead and passed out!

There you have it.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at August 20, 2007 6:14 PM

what is with all the FAT people?? Can't be a positive statement for the "good" life! Too many munchies, people...can't you see how gross you are and how this really sets a bad example of the "pure, natural life"....yipes!
Put down the brownies and take a look in the's not just about how you look, but how out of natural balance you are.
Pot should make you more aware of your balance.
Smoke it, but then take a walk...!! Kill your TVs and get out into nature.

Posted by: milabro at August 20, 2007 7:28 PM

[sorry. far too much stoned and ranting obscenity to publish this "comment."]

Posted by: at August 20, 2007 8:09 PM

Obviously, there was a lot of hucksterism going on, but shouldn't we really just legalize marijuana, tax it, and use the revenue to help pay for medical treatment for disabled people?

Posted by: Realty at August 20, 2007 8:35 PM

The corset lacing up the back is a temp thing, hence the reddening. The girl probably got her ripcord done that morning.

And yes, I like that term very well. Much more fun than "corset lacing," which is something that is designed for clothing.

Posted by: B. Durbin at August 20, 2007 9:35 PM

Some losers use pot, others use alcohol. No gumption in either case.

I'm for the legalization of recreational pharmaceuticals because it would pretty much end street dealing, and because it would make it easier for losers to kill themselves off before they successfully bred. You can't save everybody, and some people just aint worth the effort.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at August 20, 2007 10:26 PM

[NOTE: Well, I was going to get rid of this comment from the aptly named "", but I decided to let it stand pretty much as typed in by this unfortunate lad whose keyboard does not possess a Shift key. ]

you're all a bunch of fu****g fascists, i was at hempfest, and i stayed 100% sober, why cant you fu****g idiots see the good that comes from hemp? go suck on you're minister's balls while you're praying for jesus.

[NOTE: Yes, "ledzepp91", you are the poster child for "the good that comes from hemp." Glad to see it is not clouding your limited judgment. Go now, my son, and toke no more. This drug thing really isn't working out for you.]

Posted by: Anti-Fascist at August 20, 2007 10:44 PM

These guys could well have been at Antioch College c1970. Which kind of explains why it's closing down. They may be OK to have around at the time, but as alumni they're not particularly profitable.

Posted by: Phil at August 21, 2007 6:50 AM

So many of them are dressed as if it was the late 1960's. Which is very odd. There weren't young and wanna-be-young people dressing like flappers and other denizens of the Jazz Age back in the late 1960's, were there?

Odd, very odd.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at August 21, 2007 11:38 AM

What is more pathetic than this scene? An old curmudgeon with a bilious hatred of anything out of the normal coming down with the express purpose of being “hilariously” negative. Was it drafty too?

I see that the event does not meet with your ideals born in the 60s acid tests where you were apparently sober and wearing a suit. No odd looking people there, I’m sure. Also, this happened in the days before money. The magic 60s where nothing you did had to have a funding source.

Take up the flame, oh oldster of sarcasm. Make yourself an event and do it right. It should have only beautiful people there. People with piercings should be banned outright. It should cost nothing. It will change the world in a way that decent Americans already think it should be changed. It would be completely unassailable. You could have a velvet rope. You could convince all the vendors and regulatory agencies to do it for free so there is no need for money.

Or you can sit and type out stereotypes and negativity and sit in front of your computer. That is truly a life of change. You know there is a “geezerfest” locally. Perhaps you would feel more at home.

We will see how the history books treat us for our actions.

Posted by: John at August 21, 2007 12:27 PM

-Never let it be said we don't have other points of view about hot issues here at American Digest. Here's somebody who, I think, enjoyed it.

-I'll let him speak for himself:

FYI, Myrtle Beach is in South Carolina, Einstein. Just because someone is pissing you off and going somewhere does not mean they are going to Hempfest.

[Myrtle Edwards Park , Seattle, is on the shore of Puget Sound]

Posted by: John at August 21, 2007 12:39 PM

I'll stick with Hoyo de Monterrey's, thank you.

Posted by: Shaprshooter at August 21, 2007 1:18 PM

Why dislike those who choose to live differently. It is there life to do as they see fit as long as they harm no one else. Ah but you probably believe the drug war is about drugs being bad when really it is about the expansion of government in to every area of our lives. The founders of our government would be appalled at what we have done to our freedom. Read the Constitution and get back to me when you find the section that says governments can control what people do with their bodies. Just because America has led the way in this insanity doesn't make it righteous. A good read for those who assume to judge others action would be "Vices are Not Crimes" by a gentleman named Lysander Spooner. Read it and keep your mind open. Maybe one day we will be free again to live our lives as we see fit without the fake moralism of religious and political hypocrites.

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power."
- P. J. O'Rourke

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
- Abraham Lincoln: Speech in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18, 1840.

"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."- H. L. Mencken

"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." - Mark Twain

"If you say, 'Would there were no wine' because of the drunkards, then you must say, going on by degrees, 'Would there were no steel,' because of the murderers, 'Would there were no night,' because of the thieves, 'Would there were no light,' because of the informers, and 'Would there were no women,' because of adultery. - St. John Chrysostom: Homilies, c.388

"There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action." - Bertrand Russell: Outline of Intellectual Rubbish.

"Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted by: James Hudson at August 21, 2007 1:26 PM

Shaprshooter: Ironically enough, Hoyo de Monterreys are also illegal due to the neo-cons that love them.

Posted by: John at August 21, 2007 2:39 PM

Or I forget to mention that I smoke. So for those of you who believe in the stereotypes propagated by the ignorant and uninformed I have this to say. Wake up people government should not be your nanny the Founders did not intend for government to make personal decisions for us. The government was intended to protect us from real crimes not vices. For those cheerleaders of the drug war who believe that our government is fighting its "war on some drugs" for the good of all wake up. The question should be cui bono? I will tell you some of the beneficiaries: police - no war on drugs less cops needed on the street; politicians - no war on drugs means they might actually have to talk about the real problems in our country; illicit drug suppliers - no war on drugs equals fewer profits and less money that can be used for those suppliers who are terrorist to support there networks what do you think is helping in the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan selling opium supplies them with money for their operations. Wake up people we need to quit exporting the insane and unconstitutional war on drugs to other countries it makes things worse not better. For those of you who consider yourself conservatives google William Buckley and his views on the drug war.

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced." - Albert Einstein

Posted by: James Hudson at August 21, 2007 3:36 PM

Re: "The Jena 6":
Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune with the details.

Long story short, a handful of black kids decided to go sit under a tree on the "white" side of campus. The next day, someone had hung three nooses from that tree. This led to arguing, which led to fights, which led to fires and people being threatened with guns. Things came more-or-less to a head when six black students beat up a white student who was taunting them (and allegedly was friends with the noose-hangers). The white student went to the hospital for a few hours, was not permanently injured, and came back to school. The guys who jumped him were charged with *attempted murder* for what amounted to a particularly rough schoolyard fight.

The argument here is that these kids are never going to get a fair trial in a town that still has a "whites-only" TREE, and that the charges are generally trumped up and unfair to begin with.

Posted by: hooper at August 21, 2007 4:27 PM

To the so called writer.

Your "American" view, obviously confounds you. What you have done with this article places you with the writers of the "red scare". "I am scared to be myself, therefore, I will put you down."

On the other hand. I am just as satirical as you, and having volunteered, can agree with you. Only in the fact that all the dumbasses went straight to main stage or further north. The rest of us, stayed south.

Hopefully, next time, you will too.


Richard A. Wilson

Posted by: r. wilson at August 22, 2007 3:11 AM

Just before I retired from the Navy in 2004, our ship went to seattle for the sea fair, I believe it was 01 or 02. That same lazy POS was there in the 9th picture down, dressed like a statue, and dancing when you threw money in her bucket. Uncredible! We were in some downtown park by the water, where lots of folks went to eat their lunch. There she was, standing like a statue until someone tossed cash into her bucket (which was pretty full when I looked into it). Doesn't surprise me that all these years later, she'd still be doing it. She's probably a tax free millionaire by now, from panhandling her entire life.

Posted by: rightside at August 22, 2007 6:12 AM

There is a very REAL need for the legalization of pot. The state has voted that the use of medical marijuana is something that patients should have available. But with the draconian laws of the feds this isn't always possible. People who want to use it recreationally should be allowed. Other countries have no problem with this. I think that hempfest brings it to the attention of people who normally wouldn't think about it. Marijuana is a mainstream drug. It's possibly as popular as alcohol. Yet anyone caught with it is subject to a fine and/or imprisonment. How stupid is that. You'd think that the feds would have better things to do than care about a little pot.

Posted by: Patricia at August 22, 2007 10:50 AM

Two Questions;
1. Why do you hate freedom?
2. Does your mother know you're out in public being rude to strangers?

[Two answers:
1. Why are your questions a cliche as well as ignorant?
2. Do you indeed know who your mother is?]

Posted by: rev.k at August 24, 2007 1:46 PM

What's with all the blatant hostility? Seriously. Your pictures were enjoyable, but the captioning makes it seem like you went to Hempfest just to make fun of people. Do you feel that insecure about yourself that you have to ridicule people that are different from you? There's so much hate and outright ignorance here it's unbelievable.

To all the people claiming that THC is toxic or damaging to the brain, maybe you should actually look at existing research and stop regurgitating decade-old propaganda.

Posted by: Joe at August 24, 2007 2:41 PM

I was there, and the donations were not required, simply suggested.

Posted by: at August 25, 2007 4:56 AM

I really have a hard time respecting the arguments for marijuana legalization when many of its proponents undermine their own cause by failing to present themselves in an acceptable manner. How will society respect your cause if it can't even respect you?

Posted by: n.f. at September 4, 2007 6:57 PM

Hemp Fest, an observation

I would be one of the first to admit that there are some good reasons for the legalization of hemp and medical marijuana. Some good uses are erosion control and arid land reclamation, fuel (oil, and pulp), fiber for textiles and paper, atmosphere filtration. In its narcotic form, pain and nausea relief some eye conditions and to just escape from reality for a while. The battle cry I heard at Hemp Fest was “420 man, Lets get stoned, Its just pot, Let me make money I’ll pay taxes.”

The bootleggers of the 1930s just wanted to make some money and Al Capone went to jail for not paying his taxes. These bootleggers carried guns and generally were not nice people to be around. In today’s pot growing culture there are many areas on public lands where “growers” have set up plantations and have guns on those plantations. These guns are not to fight the Sheriff, but to harass, scare and possibly murder innocent hikers, prospectors, and back packers that stumble across these plantations.

It is difficult for someone growing pot that uses his product to admit that they are not performing a public service, but are in it for the MONEY. 99% of the people that I have met that awake early in the morning and reach for an alcoholic beverage admit that they have an alcohol problem. People that awake and bake say ‘its just pot, it doesn’t do anything to me”. If it doesn’t do anything why are you wake and baking?

Hard core alcoholics can have trouble controlling their bowels. Quite disgusting and smelly but no real harm to any but themselves and their clothing, and the drunk knows he has a problem. Tweakers lose their teeth, junkies nod and puke again quite disgusting. Pot heads spit. They stand around and spit puddles as disgusting a bodily fluid as excrement or vomit (which most parents taught their children to do in a bathroom), but if you ask a pot head “please don’t spit around where my baby is crawling” most pot heads reply something like “I have to, It’s my right, if you don’t like it leave the park”. It may be the alcoholics’ right to foul himself also but at least when asked the alcoholic will move along. The pot head gets violent when ask to move along saying things like “What’s your problem? Its Just pot, Go f*** yourself”. Again in the playground in front of children.

These people are the poster children for decimalizing marijuana including past offenses, quickly followed by the reestablishment of the draft. See ya wouldn’t want to be ya.

Seattle, WA

Posted by: Jp at September 5, 2007 12:10 PM

Looks like I should have headed up to Seattle and no, I'm not a brain dead, smelly hippee as some of you have dubbed them. So, quick to judge. I though people from the west coast are supposed to be open-minded? You people throwing the negativity sound like a bunch of winey, stuck-up babies.

I just like to have fun. Yea, I'm educated, grew up in the suburbs (midwest snobville), have lived in the city and now in the Cascades. I work at a software company and don't trust the government.
And yes I smoke every once in a while. I can stop whenever, just like when I quit cigarettes cold turkey, it's called SELF-CONTROL. Mind over matter! That is what the issue is. And yeah I don't have TV. Go outside and live.
Legalize it!

Posted by: ginjuice at September 6, 2007 10:14 AM

Looks like I should have headed up to Seattle and no, I'm not a brain dead, smelly hippie as some of you have dubbed them. So, quick to judge. I though people from the west coast are supposed to be open-minded? You people throwing the negativity sound like a bunch of winey, stuck-up yuppie babies. Died yuppie scum, probably extreme right-wingers.

I just like to have fun. Yea, I'm educated, grew up in the suburbs (midwest snobville), have lived in the city and now in the Cascades. I work at an educational software company and don't trust the government.
And yes I smoke every once in a while. I can stop whenever, just like when I quit cigarettes cold turkey, it's called SELF-CONTROL. Mind over matter! THAT is what the issue is. And yeah I don't have TV. Go outside and live.

Wow, some of you think grass causes brain damage, talk about retro 60's propoganda, that sure isn't fact. Lack of motivation is the only problem I personally have with it, but it doesn't do that to everyone, just me. And alcohol adds on the pounds, but I still dig it, oh well that's my choice... you eat big macs and I'll drink an IPA and smoke one and paddle.
Legalize it!

Posted by: ginjuice at September 6, 2007 10:20 AM

After reading this article, I thought I would make a few comments. I will comment the least about your extreme negativity and insults to Hempfest and those who participated in it. I think a few other posts before mine have covered that.

1) There is no cost to go to Hempfest, there never has been, and there never will be. It is just a suggested donation. You made a comment suggesting Hempfest is not trying to change the world, but trying to sell it a Hemp T-Shirt. Yes, some of the vendors do sell hemp T-Shirts, and the reason there are vendors (as well as programes and sponsors) is because Seattle Hempfest literally costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on every year, and vendors at Seattle Hempfest are what pay for a great deal of that. I tell you now, Hempfest makes no profit and often finds itself lacking in funds.

2) Becoming the change we want to see is exactly what we should be doing, by showing how cannabis can be used safely and responsibily for medicinal, social, and religious purposes. 99% of all the organizers of the event are regular users for one or more of those reasons, and by producing a king size, world class event, Hempfest is demonstrating that cannabis enthusiasts are as responsible, professional, and successful as anyone else. It has been applauded by the local law enforcement for being such a outstanding protestival.

3) Those "artisan handcrafts" such as Bongs (as you mentioned), are almost always blown by the people selling them. It might help you to talk to a few people rather than just snapping pictures and assuming what you like. Most glass pipe/water pipe vendors here are local artists, and others from all over America (and Canada), especially the West Coast.

4) You obviously went out of your way to snap photos of some interesting characters at Hempfest, but what you didn't do is take photos of the thousands and thousands of regular folks, that look just like you.

5) Now, as for the "not-so-new and revolting foods" (which I am guessing you didn't try?), they are not being sold under a guise, they really do have cannabis seeds in them (Hemp is a strain of Cannabis with low THC). If you have been keeping up with the news, you would know how good the seeds are for you and how popular hempseed foods and body care products have become. And again, if you had spoken with the vendors, they would have explained to you in simple english that these are made from Hemp Seeds and will not get you high.

6) Marijuana is Medicine.

7) The fact that you judge an entire family based on what shirt the daughter was wearing (or by the hair a mother has) is...amazing.

You should have sat down and listened to what people were saying on stage. And talk to the people in the booths. Maybe you could have learned someone, but I doubt it.

Posted by: EggWhites at October 23, 2007 8:14 PM

Posted by: Patricia at August 22, 2007 10:50 AM

Two Questions;
1. Why do you hate freedom?
2. Does your mother know you're out in public being rude to strangers?


Posted by: at November 26, 2007 1:07 AM
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