The 26th annual Seattle HEMPFEST “protestival” will feature 4 stages of political speech and musical support (featuring roughly 200 guest speakers and musical performances). In addition, HEMPFEST will consist of 350 arts, crafts, food, and informational vendors, a gigantic “circus tent” with panel discussions, and an hour long indigenous tribute to the Standing Rock struggle at the Main Stage on Saturday.
“Recent saber rattling by the Trump administration reveals how fragile the legal regulatory systems are in the 8 states that have “legalized” cannabis. Events like Seattle HEMPFEST are essential in the continued struggle to defeat federal prohibition. Polling indicates the vast majority of Americans understand prohibition is failed policy”, says Vivian McPeak, HEMPFEST executive director. “Cannabis should be a legal commodity generating revenue, jobs, and taxes,” adds McPeak.
In addition to being the largest annual free speech event in America, and the world’s largest cannabis reform event, Seattle HEMPFEST has many components that qualify it as the most socially responsible cannabis reform event, including, but not limited to:
- renting extra AED (heart defibrillators) because of the length of our event
- registering almost 10,000 attendees to vote during the event
- proactively working with Seattle Animal Shelter on protecting pets and messaging to pet owners
- proactively contacting Fish and Wildlife asking them to close the Pier in centennial Park during Hempfest for environmental reasons
- responsible messaging from our stages (for 25 years) reinforcing our sincere respect for all first responders (including LEOs)
- Spending 2 months annually in an effort to track down the owners of our extensive lost and found items
- Instituting a Code Adam lost child protocol and training to respond effectively in the case of a missing child at the event
- Operating an ecology crew is a (both paid and volunteer) refuse management operation that works almost non-stop within the event to handle the large load of trash the event generates; sorting for recycle, compost, or landfill, and routinely processing an average of around 500 cubic yards of trash. Hempfest leaves the parks spotless, and even picks up thousands of cigarette butts
- In 2014 Hempfest worked with a University of Washington professor to develop an economic impact study that revealed that Seattle HEMPFEST festival patrons spent approximately $7.1 million in King County in relation to their visits to the festival. Volunteers and musicians were estimated to have spent $0.226 million in relation to their participation in the festival in King County, while Seattle HEMPFEST Festival exhibitors and food vendors are estimated to have had expenses of $1.8 million in relation to participation in the festival in King County. In addition, Seattle HEMPFEST Festival organizers incurred costs of $0.924 million, of which $0.744 million were made in King County (Full study found on tab at https://www.hempfest.org/festival/media/
- Aggressively enforcing a no illegal sales policy with our trained, volunteer Safety Patrol (our internal security force).
1. De-Schedule: Cannabis completely off the Federal Schedule / Controlled Substances Act
2. Removal of Cannabis from all binding treaties
3. Release of all non-violent cannabis offenders nationally
4. Reparations in the form of expunction of all records relating to convictions for cannabis possession.
5. Parental rights / protections for cannabis users
6. Second Amendment equality protections for cannabis users
7. Merit based licensing for pot stores (or remove caps on the number of stores to allow a supply and demand based market model)
8. Legal home-grows
9. Legal school medicating for minor patients
10. Workplace protections / job discrimination
11. Reasonable regulations for concentrates
12. Restricting pesticides/herbicides/fungicides (organic production standards)
13. Driving impairment technology (impairment based field test)
14. Fair, reasonable zoning for cannabis businesses
15. Tax/banking reform (end 280E restrictions)
16. Reasonable smell regulations for production facilities and elsewhere
17. Environmental impact of throw away packaging examined
18. Public consumption lounges allowed
19. First Amendment equality in advertising, sponsorship, and promotion for cannabis related businesses
20. Consumption protections for patients in public housing
21. Legal domestic industrial hemp production
22. Tenant /Renter consumption protections
23. Use in hospitals
24. Equality protections for transplant patients
25. Nutritional, sugar-free medical-marijuana “medible” alternatives
Past guest speakers at Seattle HEMPFEST have included actor Woody Harrelson, Travel Guru Rick Steves, Seattle musician/author Krist Novoselic, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (as a candidate), former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Atty Pete Holmes, State Rep. Roger Goodman, State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (currently King County Council member), former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, Seattle Police Department Spokesman Sean Whitcomb, poet and community activist Nate Howard, former Dallas Cowboys center Mark Stepnoski, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition founder Jack Cole, former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, former Libertarian vice presidential nominee Judge Mike Gray, etc.
Our 2017 line up is HERE