Seattle, WA: Event organizers are expecting to break attendance records this weekend for the 21st annual Seattle Hempfest, taking place this Friday through Sunday at Myrtle Edwards Park along the downtown Seattle waterfront.
Hempfest has drawn crowds in excesses of 250,000 people over the three day ‘protestival’.
One of the main focuses of this year Hempfest is Washington’s legalization voter initiative, Initiative 502. Washington is one of three states where voters this fall will have the opportunity to substantively reform their state’s personal use cannabis laws. Oregon and Colorado voters also have limited marijuana legalization measures appearing on their statewide ballots this fall.
Over 60 musical acts and over one hundred speakers — including NORML Founder Keith Stroup, I-502 sponsor, NORML Advisory Board member and travel expert Rick Steves, numerous NORML board members and chapter coordinators, members of Seattle’s City Council, former law enforcement officials and dozens of cannabis law reform activists will participate in the event from numerous stages and at the ‘Hemposium’ educational tent.
A list of speakers is found here.
A complete line-up of this year’s scheduled events, musicians, and speakers is available online at: http://www.hempfest.org/.
If you’re not able to attend this weekend’s HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles, here at The NORML Network we’ve got the next best thing. Tune in Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 7pm Pacific Time at http://live.norml.org for all the panels, presentations, interviews, and floor tours from LA Center Studios.
We’ll also be presenting our “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” raffles. At every 4:20 in America – Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii Time – we’ll be raffling off a prize package of NORML buttons, stickers, pins, books, DVDs, t-shirts, and backpacks for those in attendance. (That’s 1:20pm – 6:20pm Pacific.) For those of you watching online, follow our NORML Network Twitter feed @NORMLNet for your chance to win, too.
Today @ 1:30 PM (eastern) the NORML and High Times-sponsored Silver Tour, hosted by America’s longest serving cannabis prisoner Robert Platshorn, is live from Temple Shaarei Shalom in Boynton Beach, Florida.
Topic of the day: Teaching senior citizens about the safety, utility, effectiveness, cost savings and politics of medical cannabis.
Featured speakers include Irvin Rosenfeld (one of the five federal medical cannabis patients who receive 300 pre-rolled ‘joints’ monthly from a special and closed-to-the-public medical cannabis research project) and former NORML board member and longtime cannabis medical researcher Mary Lynn Mathre, RN (from Patients Out of Time) and NORML Legal Committee member attorney Michael Minardi.
According to representatives for HIGH TIMES magazine, sponsors of the 24th Annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, the event will continue tonight with a scheduled concert at the Melkweg concert hall (Lijnbaansgracht 234), followed by a full day of the expo (including voting) at the Borchland (Borchlandweg) on Thursday, the final day of the competition. An additional voting station will be set up starting at 2PM on Thursday at the Melkweg, which will remain open until the beginning of the official Cannabis Cup awards ceremony at 8PM. (read more)
According to the East Bay Express:
…police in Amsterdam are in the process of raiding the 24th annual High Times Cannabis Cup Expo. Possession of marijuana has been decriminalized in the Netherlands. But according to tweets on the scene, “everyone will have their buds confiscated, but no one will be charged or fined. This is the first time this has happened in 24 years.”
We broke the news on NORML SHOW LIVE this morning and spoke with Tim Martin of John Doe Radio, who has been in contact with numerous attendees in Amsterdam, including Scott from Rare Dankness Seeds, who called in live to the show (listen here). According to Scott, much of the Dutch concern is over the concentrates – butane hash oil, for instance – that is considered a “hard drug” in Holland.
“They herded everybody toward one exit, like you’re getting on a ski lift at Vail… then one by one they had about 40 cops there for a little talk and search… People were dropping grams and grams of hash on the ground… baggies littering the floor… people were smoking it if you had it because you weren’t rolling out with it!”
According to Scott there has been one arrest of a vendor who was caught with a lot of “shake” (leaves and stems) which, according to Dutch law, are to be immediately disposed of. Other reports indicate that there were checks of individuals to ensure they weren’t violating the 5-gram personal possession limit and checks of vendors for compliance with the 500-gram vendor possession limit.
It should be noted that none of this is precipitated by any change in Dutch law. These limits on personal and vendor possession, disposal of trimmings, and prohibitions on cannabis concentrates have existed throughout the 24-year history of the Cannabis Cup.
What has changed is a new, more conservative government in the Netherlands that seeks to “send a message” about cannabis use. They began with the closing of border coffee shops to all but Dutch, Belgian, and German passport holders, claiming that “foreign drug tourism” was leading to a host of social ills.