August 17, 2008

Hempfest: They Just Keep Coming

Entrance%20to%20Hempfest.JPG Seattle%20Police%20Enforcer%20bike.JPG

Well, now, we're not going to try to put this up at exactly 4:20 because that would be, you know, predictable.

Mainstream media are always trying to be funny about pot, writing headlines about plans going up in smoke, or stoners trying to keep to a schedule. Mainstream media have overt allegiances (to advertisers like Big Oil, Big Pharm) and unspoken alliances (to news sources like police and prosecutors) that makes it hard for their reporters and editors to be totally objective when it comes to drugs.

As the nation's largest protest rally for drug policy reform, the substance of Hempfest gets ignored by the daily papers and tee-vee (except for monkey-in-the-zoo photos of hippies). Policy is so darn complicated, dontcha know.

Alternative media such as urban weeklies have more leeway to challenge the status quo. Best of all, of course: The Internets. So it falls to us to point out that tens of thousands of people (young, old, weird, straight, all shapes, sizes & colors) streamed into Myrtle Edwards Park this weekend, many so they could listen to a staggering amount of music, others to hear speakers or participate in panel discussions. A relatively small number of police officers were on hand, just in case anything untoward happened; they had nothing to do but eat chicken sandwiches for lunch.

"Some people from the Edmonds PTA were here yesterday, with unfounded fears that their kids would be corrupted," said travel writer Rick Steves, one of the speakers."What they saw is that we don't have horns. Marijuana users are just like their suburban neighbors. It's a bit like the gay rights movement, except that people are still going to jail."

There. It's almost 4:20. Can we go now?

Posted by Ronald Holden at August 17, 2008 3:58 PM | TrackBack

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