It's a three-day event now, and it starts on Friday. So you can go down to Hempfest in Myrtle Edwards park this evening or over the weekend. I'm gonna go and have a good time. But I think this is bullshit:
The pro-marijuana movement in Washington state is so splintered that Hempfest organizers are staying neutral on the legalization measure, Initiative 502.
Yes, Hempfest—the world's biggest pot legalization festival—has decided to sit out the most most sweeping, best-funded, well-organized legalization initiative campaign ever in the US. When it's in their state, no less. That's like gay pride staying neutral on this year's marriage equality referendum. Why can't they support the thing that the entire event is purportedly all about?
Hempfest director Vivian McPeak, a critic of I-502, said several staff members would have left the organization if it had taken sides on the measure. "It's painful and it's frustrating," McPeak said. "For Hempfest it's been sort of like navigating shark-infested waters."
I guess it's too much to expect a leader of the local pot movement to take a bold stand—for, uh, legalizing marijuana—if it requires navigating shark-infested waters. Unless he's one of the sharks against the initiative. But the case against I-502 is ridiculous. Thank god for rational minds:
"I'm actually sad that Hempfest isn't embracing this as sort of a pinnacle of the work that they've been doing for so long," said Alison Holcomb, campaign director for the I-502 campaign. "There have been so many people who have worked literally for decades to have a chance to begin to roll back marijuana prohibition ... and this is the year that we can finally break through that wall."
Anyhow, I love Hempfest for helping get us this far, even if it's dead wrong on I-502. So go this weekend. And vote yes on I-502.