In exactly one week an amazing annual event in the long struggle to reform cannabis laws comes to the fore.
There is no hyperbole when one states that the now 19-year-old Seattle Hempfest is the largest pro-cannabis rally on the face of our good green earth. Over 200,000 anti-prohibitionists pour into a beautiful, mile-long park that faces Puget Sound for two days of speeches, education and music in support of ending America’s longest war–the US government’s 73-year-old war against cannabis consumers and the plant itself.
(To place this in some perspective: I grew up in a small town on Cape Cod that has a population under 6,000…to see over 200,000 citizens peacefully gather in protest annually has been truly an awesome and informative experience I encourage others to have as well.)
Over 850,000 Americans will likely be arrested this year on cannabis-related charges in America–90% for possession only. How many people will likely be arrested at the Seattle Hempfest despite massive, protest-driven and open cannabis consumption? Likely, not a single adult.
The Hempfest has helped pave the way for medical cannabis laws in Washington State, the virtual decriminalization of cannabis under one ounce in Seattle and is setting the stage once again for big changes in cannabis laws: a state-wide legalization ballot initiative, as well as legislation to both decriminalize and legalize.
What does it cost to see over 30 bands on three stages, get educated and motivated by the most active cannabis law reformers from around the world, have access to over 200 booths that sell glass and hemp products, eat great food and use cannabis without fear of arrest?
Zilch. Zip. Nothing. Nada. Free.
That’s right. No kidding. Free!
This entire massive two-day ‘protestival’ is put on entirely by volunteers–hundreds and hundreds of volunteers.
Does it cost money to lawfully, safely and responsibly stage a small city for nearly a week?
You bet it does!
Well over $100,000 for all of the leased staging, lighting, sound equipment, tents, booths, over one hundred ‘Port-o-Johns’, security, communication equipment fencing, event insurance, police overtime and even t-shirts for the hundreds of volunteers who manage the entrances, security and stages.
Take it from someone who has convened large concerts, conferences and protests–The Seattle Hempfest does it right and they need our support to make this AMAZING event in the history of cannabis law reform continue to happen until cannabis has been effectively legalized.
Then, after over 20 years of self-sacrifice and hard work, when cannabis is legal, there will be one last Seattle Hempfest…to celebrate the hard fought battle for personal freedom, autonomy and freedom. I’m really, really looking forward to that notable Hempfest celebration!
But until that soon-to-come day occurs, please join NORML and me in lending support to the great all-volunteer effort that it will take to stage next week’s 19th annual Seattle Hempfest.
National NORML along with numerous NORML chapters from around the country have booths , so come on by and say ‘high!’
As always, thanks for caring and sharing.
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An Important Request From Seattle Hempfest Organizers:
Please join our new Hempfest Fundraising Crew this year to help raise a million bucks for cannabis. 250,000+ enthusiasts will be at Hempfest
August 21-22. We have a plan to ask each of them to donate to the Hempfest organization. If they give an average of $4, we’ll raise a million bucks for cannabis! All we need is your help building a team big enough to reach them all.
There will be an orientation party the Wednesday before Hempfest and we graciously and urgently request your attendance.
What: Volunteer orientation party for Hempfest Fundraising Crew
When: Wednesday, Aug 18, 7PM
Where: Myrtle Edwards Park, south entrance near the fountain, Seattle
And…: Snacks and refreshments provided
Contact: Ezra Eickmeyer, 360-301-1842, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t attend the Wednesday orientation party, please let us know which days you can volunteer at Hempfest (Aug. 21-22, 10AM – 8PM) and at which times. 4-5 hour shifts are requested.
Finally, please recruit friends and family to come help as well. We’ll need as many as 60 volunteers per shift to make these efforts work, which means 240+ volunteers rallying together for the cause over one weekend. We still need over 100 volunteer shifts to be filled, so e-mail and call everyone. Thank you!!!
-Ezra Eickmeyer, Coordinator Hempfest Fundraising Crew email@example.com