Hempfest starts its next 25 years Aug. 18

Seattle’s Hempfest, which turned 25 years old last year, is scheduled for Aug. 18-20, 2017. Hempfest is the world’s largest annual cannabis related event, and America’s largest annual free speech event, according to its organizers. As many as 100,000 people are expected to attend the 2017 Seattle Hempfest “protestival” as it is often called.

Hempfest spans three Seattle waterfront parks: Centennial Park (north entrance) Myrtle Edwards Park (central entrance) and Olympic Sculpture Park (south entrance). The three-day event will include speakers, music, vendors and information on ways you can support its platform.

The 2017 Hempfest platform includes:

• DeSchedule: Cannabis completely off the Federal Schedule Controlled Substances Act.

• Removal of cannabis from all binding treaties.

• Release of all non-violent cannabis offenders nationally.

• Reparations in the form of expunction of all records relating to convictions for cannabis possession.

• Parental rights / protections for cannabis users.

• Second Amendment equality protections for cannabis users.

• Merit based licensing for pot stores (or remove caps on the number of stores to allow a supply and demand based market model).

• Legal home-grows.

• Legal school medicating for minor patients.

• Workplace protections / job discrimination.

• Reasonable regulations for concentrates.

• Restricting pesticides/herbicides/fungicides (organic production standards).

• Driving impairment technology (impairment based field test).

• Fair, reasonable zoning for cannabis businesses.

• Tax/banking reform (end 280E restrictions).

• Reasonable smell regulations for production facilities

and elsewhere.

• Environmental impact of throw away packaging examined.

• Public consumption lounges allowed.

• First Amendment equality in advertising, sponsorship, and promotion for cannabis related businesses.

• Consumption protections for patients in public housing.

• Legal domestic industrial hemp production.

• Tenant /Renter consumption protections.

• Use in hospitals.

• Equality protections for transplant patients.

• Nutritional, sugar-free medical-marijuana “medible” alternatives.

As many as 400 arts, crafts, food, and political vendors are expected to dot the long expanse of the parks. The Seattle Hempfest event has a “Hemposium” circus tent complete with panel discussions and presentations, keynote speakers, displays, and workshops. Hempfest requires more than 118 volunteer crews and is staffed by 1,000 volunteers.

This year’s speakers and entertainment will be announced in early June.

Past guest speakers and entertainers have included actor Woody Harrelson, travel guru Rick Steves, Seattle musician/author Krist Novoselic, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, former U.S. 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 Attorney Pete Holmes, State Rep. Roger Goodman, State Sen. 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, former Drug Policy Alliance Director Ethan Nadelman, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, former Libertarian vice presidential nominee Judge Mike Gray, David Bronner (of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps), comedian Rick Overton, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition founder Jack Cole, and Kotton Mouth Kings, Everlast, Rehab, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Hed PE, The Accused, Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs, Lucero, 7 Year Bitch, Donald Glaude, and more than another 1,000 music acts have performed during the last 25 years.

For the latest about Hempfest, go to www.hempfest.org.