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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

The New Age Of Reefer Madness

Seattle-Hempfest-Blog-Marijuana

So I get this email from the 46th District Democrats, the “Demogram”.  It’s about their upcoming 2/19 meeting, How Do We Solve A Problem Like Marijuana?

As I read through the information they are sharing, my jaw is dropping, I felt teleported back to prohibitions roots when outlandish claims where levied against cannabis and led to its demise.  I can’t believe I’m reading an actual political newsletter.

Statements like –

“Medical marijuana outlets or cannabis dispensaries, as they prefer to be called, readily admit that not all their customers — as few as 25% — are diagnosed medical patients,”

So they are claiming that 75% of all medical patients are not medical patients or that 75% of all medical dispensary sales are to people without medical recommendations.  I’m also highly skeptical that any medical dispensary operators claimed to anyone that as few as 25% of their patient customers are authorized.

Seattle-Hempfest-Medical-Cannabis

the needs of legitimate medical patients are significantly different from recreational users. They prefer a clinic-like dispensary atmosphere, rather than wild decorations, some unwanted incense (allergies) and wild music.”

Wow, way to stereotype marijuana users.  While I’ve only been in a few recreational stores I know of none with wild decorations or burning incense while playing wild music. What is wild music anyway?  I prefer Metallica myself.

Seattle-Hempfest-RocknRoll

“Doctors are forbidden to give advice, for fear of losing their medical licenses.”

Simply not true.  My Doctor at Swedish Cancer Care Institute wrote my medical recommendation when I was undergoing chemo & radiation.  I talked to my entire medical team about my medical cannabis use.  I was actually not on 4 of their recommended anti-nausea medications due to my medical cannabis use.  I readily did not use their anti-anxiety medication due to my medical cannabis use and I talked to them about it throughout all my treatment.  I talked to my Pharmacists about it too.   My entire medical team, to this days knows about my medical cannabis use.

Sure, the Federal boogie man is real but Doctors write medical recommendations and talk to their patients about their medical cannabis use.  How else have people gotten recommendations throughout time!  Again, they are making it seem like Doctors cannot be the ones writing recommendations when they are!

Seattle-Hempfest-Blog-Cannabis-vs-pharma

Of course for obvious reasons we became curious as to where they obtained this data from.  I issued them a formal Freedom of Information Act Request. Vivian took a more straight forward route and emailed the Chair and asked where their data came from.

Their response was swift and concerning.

“It’s from (name removed) who is currently handling our program scheduling for the meetings. I don’t have specifics but it came from talking to cannabis dispensary owners and going to forums like this one. Though there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hard data there. You should come to the forum and help contribute to the discussion. There are a lot of different opinions around there. And with 90 bills in the legislature we need more input.

The idea that the 46th District Democrats are presenting that kind of information in a public document is alarming.  Especially when they “readily admit” the information is not culled from hard data.

I have a huge problem with this.  Not just in regards to cannabis either.  You cannot trust a damn thing that comes out of the mouths of politicians or that they put in writing and this is an exemplary example of that.

The 25% accusation is actually damaging, and that statement marginalizes and minimizes the struggle that legitimate patients endure daily, especially in the face of memes that are presented like this that characterize the patient community (and their doctors) as phonies and charlatans.

Seattle-Hempfest-Blog-Democrat-Republican

I do plan on going to their meeting and talking about accountability, integrity of data, and loss of trust.  I also plan on being a great example of a citizen who uses medical cannabis and can work within the power structure to help them make good decisions.  It’s our responsibility and it’s time we stand up and help usher in legalization.  I’m wondering if any of you would like to go with me?

Seattle-Hempfest-United-States-Of-Cannabis

Thursday February 19, 2015 7:30 PM

Olympic View Elementary School

504 NE 95th St
Seattle, WA 98115
Sign in starts at 7:00 PM

I hope to see you there!

Sharon

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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

Links To Washington’s Cannabis Bills

We spent an awesome day in Olympia yesterday registering attendees to the ASA Medical Cannabis Lobby Day.

Unlike last year, I found legislators eager to hear what I thought of the two major competing medical bills, SB 5052 & SB 5519. Today HB 1698 was introduced which throws a third medical dispensary model in the ring.

Our Legislature is ready to tackle this issue – whether we are or not!

lobby SB 5052 hearing olympia washington medical vs recreational marijuana

Let me walk you through how to interact with the States website as I’ve given you links to each bill below.

SB means Senate Bill.  SB’s are originated by our Senators.  We each have one Senator.

HB means House Bill.  HB’s are originated by our Representatives.  We each have two Representatives.

We’re going to use SB 5121 as our example.  SB 5121 is about establishing a marijuana research license so that cannabis researchers can grow the cannabis they are doing studies on.

Here’s an image of the screen you’ll see when you hit the link.

Screen Example

“History of the Bill” tells you who the sponsors are and hyperlinks you to their page.  It also shows you what has happened to the bill on what date and hyperlinks you to more information about these events.

I always read the “Original Bills” under available documents vs the “Bill Digest” as I want to see everything they are saying but the “Bill Digest” gives you a very short description to help wade through the list.

The button I want to point out most is the “Comment on this bill” button.  It’s under the big yellow box near the bills Name “SB 5121 – 2015-16” This button takes you to a screen that allows you to comment on the bill.  The comments go to your Districts Senator & Representatives as well as the Bill’s Sponsors and any Committee Members who are reviewing the bill.

The most effective way to communicate with them is in their language.  For example, If I don’t like the wording in Section  1, item A, state what you don’t like and how you would change it.

Don’t be emotional.  Be factual and tell them specifically what you would change by section.

Now let me introduce you to some of the other legislation working its way through Olympia.

First are the three that deal with how medical cannabis is dispensed and what to do with our medical cannabis industry.

SB 5519, would allow dispensaries a path to I502 compliance, allow everyone to grow 6 plants

HB 1698 creates dispensary system, allows home grows

SB 5052 creates a separate medical system but does not allow for dried cannabis sales, does allow medical grow

Next are a variety of Bills for both medical & recreational cannabis.

hb 1020 ric smith memorial act seattle hempfest

HB 1520 requires a finding of guilt prior to the  forfeiture of private property

SB 5051 & 5572 clarifying transportation and delivery services for marijuana producers, processors & retailers.

SB 5379 Adds PTSD to the qualifying conditions

HB 1020 makes a  qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis may not be a sole disqualifying factor in determining the patient’s suitability for an organ transplant among other things.

HB 1041 & SB 5461 Providing for the vacation of misdemeanor marijuana offense convictions

HB 1165 Sharing cannabis taxes with local jurisdictions

HB 1334 & SB 5003 Concerning the taxes payable on rec marijuana

HB 1335 & SB 5417 Permitting cities to reduce the buffer zone

HB 1359 & SB 5402 Addresses marijuana violations of persons between 18 – 21

HB 1360 & SB 5398 Concerning marijuana use in public

HB 1361 & SB 5401 Allowing the Washington state liquor control board to accept donations for funding informational material for the purpose of improving public awareness about marijuana consumption.

HB 1411 Concerning the siting of marijuana facilities

HB 1412 Concerning municipalities prohibiting the operation of recreational marijuana production, processing, & retail facilities

HB1413 Revising licensing regulations pertaining to the buffer distances required between recreational marijuana businesses and specified public and private facilities.

HB 1414 Exempting marijuana producers from taxation for sales to other producers of marijuana seeds and cloned marijuana plants.

HB 1418 Providing for the enforcement of illegal marijuana production.

HB 1438 Permitting cities, towns, and counties to prohibit the production, processing, and sale of marijuana under Initiative Measure No. 502 only by public vote.

HB 1461 – Very vague, only says relating to marijuana

HB 1650 Clarifying provisions regarding the seizure and disposition of marijuana and processed marijuana products by state and local law enforcement agencies.

HB 1673 & SB 5245 Concerning substance abuse prevention and treatment programs funded by the marijuana excise tax.

SB 5002 Concerning traffic infractions for marijuana, marijuana-based substances, or marijuana-infused substances.

HB 5051 Clarifying transportation and delivery services

SB 5130 Restricting marijuana producer and processor businesses from being located in certain residential and rural areas.

SB 5450 Adding churches and licensed chemical dependency programs in the buffer distance requirements of recreational marijuana businesses.

SB 5467 Providing a single point of excise taxation on sales of recreational marijuana.

SB 5493 Distinguishing cannabis health and beauty aids from marijuana.

What a long list right?

Imagine being a legislator trying to make the right decision.  That’s why concise comments that speak directly to the bills language work best when communicating.

I am going to try to find someone to help me track each of these lovely bills so we can keep everyone informed where these go!

You can make a list of Bills you’d like to track HERE

You can read more about contacting your legislators in both Washingtons HERE

I gotta go do some reading!

Choi’

washington capitol

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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

Don’t Drink the Blame it on Medical Marijuana Kool-Aid.

My name is Sharon Whitson and I’m the General Manager of Seattle Event’s A Non Profit Corporation, the producers of Seattle Hempfest, Hempfest Business, & Hempfest Central.

Let’s talk about why I502 is faltering and instead of drinking the blame it on medical marijuana kool-aid we’re going to evaluate some facts.

First a history lesson.  Medical cannabis was legalized by the voters via I-692 in 1998, 14 years before recreational cannabis.  Medical cannabis began being a legitimate industry at this time.  Our legislators where just too afraid to touch it via enacting regulation so they allowed the citizen’s initiative to be enacted but treated it like a green haired step child sitting in a corner that they didn’t want to see.

Mean while, the medical cannabis industry blossomed, with some jurisdictions, like Seattle supporting it, and others banning it.  Despite Federal raids on people like the Kettle Falls 5, the industry persevered.  Knowing they needed to be regulated and tired of being ignored by the state in 2011 the medical industry worked with both the Washington State House & Senate and passed SB 5073 that would regulate the medical cannabis industry.

Chris Gregoire, who was then Governor, afraid of the Federal boogie man, vetoed much of 5073 and instead of regulating the medical cannabis industry instead made it even more of an unanswered industry.

In 2012 the people over whelming voted to add recreational cannabis use to our legalization system along side medical cannabis.  The voters did not vote to abolish medical marijuana.  They voted to stop sending people to prison for a plant and to create a new system for recreational sales.

Right now 40% of Washington State Cities have enacted an I502 moratorium.  This means they will not allow I502 to be implemented in their cities.   Now I’m all for jurisdictions being able to enact their own rules but this also means the states needs to reduce its financial projections for I502 revenue by 40% – as only a maximum of 60% is achievable since 40% of the stores cannot even open.

This also means that under an I502 system, 40% of the states medical cannabis needs will not be met if medical is put under I502.

There are 330 possible I502 retail store licenses and we have 86 retail stores open.  That’s only 26% and they opened at varying points throughout the entire year.  This means that we should have expected less than 26% of the projected revenues thus far.

The high tax rates are helping keep the black market alive.   The way to compete is to be economically competitive.  That’s simple business 101.  If your product is 3X the price of someone selling a similar product, your sales are going to be limited.

Medical Marijuana is not the black market.  According to the Washington Department of Revenue’s report to the Coalition for Cannabis Standards & Ethics, medical marijuana dispensaries contributed $832,000 in sales taxes in October of 2014 alone.

Medical Marijuana businesses, like all others, have Washington & City business licenses and pay Washington B&O as well as City taxes.  Those figures are not included in the $832,000 one month total.

They hire employees.  They pay employment taxes and their employees pay taxes.   They rent buildings, they buy some too!  Running a business is expensive.  The medical marijuana industry has been contributing to the communities and coffers of Washington State for over a decade.

Colorado is flourishing as it started it’s recreational market from its existing medical market.  Instead of taking this common sense approach, Olympia decided to give it to the Liquor Control Board – who the people had recently voted out of controlling liquor sales – to recreate the wheel.  To compound it, they create a blind lottery vs a merit based application acceptance system.  This means that anyone who could complete the application and pay $250 could be chosen to participate in I502 even if they didn’t have the money or business plan it require to operate.  This is why you only have 26% of the retail stores open.  If we’d of had a merit based system you could bank on us being at our 60% maximum rate – remember it’s only 60% due to the moratoriums.

Why not create a path for I502 producer/processors to sell into the medical market?

Why would you turn to the newly created Recreational system for advice on Medical Marijuana – oh yeah, your protecting financial interests instead of the interests of the sick.  Why else wouldn’t you turn to an organization like the Coalition for Cannabis Standards & Ethics or the Washington Cannabis Commission to gain insight since?  Expertise in medical cannabis is being ignored like it doesn’t even exist and hasn’t been here all along!

Astronomical tax rates, moratoriums, & a non-merit based selection process are what’s plaguing I502 forecasts, not medical marijuana.

Please don’t drink the blame it on medical marijuana kook-aid.  Instead let’s work with our legislature to strengthen I502 and create separate regulation of our already vibrant medical industry.

You can read more about contacting your legislators in both Washingtons here

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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

Preserve Patients Rights

In 2009 when I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer I was devastated.  I could not even form the word cancer to tell my husband let alone my then 5th grade son. 

Cancer is the fight of your life.  I survived mine and consider myself very lucky; thanks to an angel!  I endured eight rounds of a chemotherapy drug called Cisplatin and seven week of daily radiation with only Saturday & Sundays off.  Cancer treatment was like a daily job.

I was afraid. I had seen other people go through cancer treatment and was humbled by the prospect of what I was about to undergo.   I knew this was the fight for my life. 

Radiation started first.  I got my first ever tattoos – the ones they use to line up the radiation equipment to assure that they shooting the beams of radiation into the correct locations.  It’s scary going in for the first time.  The anticipation was intense.  The machine is huge and alone in a large room, cool to the touch as you lay down into it and they adjust their settings to align with your new tattoos. 

Then they run away to a seperate room, only to view you through cameras and their window which is actually a shield to protect them from what is about to happen to you. 

The radiation table

You don’t feel anything, other than the inner turmoil and fear that you get when your mortality is at stake.  You just hear the drone of the machine as it rotates and shoots beams of radiation into you from 4 different angles – front, back, and each side.  It takes only a few minutes and then they are back helping you out of the machine.  On your day goes.

Chemotherapy was once a week and required two surgeries.  The first surgery to get my chemo port put in and the second to eventually have it removed.  What is a chemo port?  It’s a device they implant so they can feed chemo directly into your larger chest veins.  Chemo blows out the ‘usual’ veins the medical field uses.  Chemo is a long process.  Mine took 4-5 hours which I tried to spend reading or resting and making small talk with the nurses and other patients also getting chemo.

My Chemo Port site

The stress of cancer is unreal.  It twists your mind in ways you can’t imagine – unless you’ve been there and trust me, you don’t want to be there.  For this stress I was offered anti-depressants, & anti-anxiety drugs.  I was able to avoid both with all their toxic side effect by talking to my Doctor at Swedish about Medical Cannabis.  He was aware of its properties and gladly provided me with a recommendation to help ease my journey through cancer. 

Through the use of medical cannabis I was able to cut my nausea medications from six pills to only two.  The cost of those two pills was $120 a week alone.   Did I mention I was laid off my job during this entire ordeal and had to bear cost of Cobra Coverage for my insurance while on unemployment and supporting a child?  Talk about pushed to the max.  I knew cannabis was helping me.  Our then very limited medical cannabis access points where pushed into far off industrial zones very far from my Kirkland home and treatments at Swedish Cancer Institute.  The cost of travel on me physically and the financial costs of cannabis where not helping my already over stressed situation.

Then an angel appeared. Another medical patient who had learned to grow their own cannabis had excess to share with me – for free.  They never asked me for a cent.  They changed my life and the life of my family.  Their ability to grow their own cannabis and share their excess with another qualified patient, me, saved my life and surely my sanity.  I was so on the edge and this simple gift was life for me. 

Cannabis is like a light switch from agony to tolerable.  Its effects are instant and lasting. Another patient’s gift of home grown cannabis helped me survive the fight of my life more intact, with less suffering, and ultimately more dignity & peace as I could function better.  Had they not been able to grow their own cannabis my agony and pain would have stayed at intolerable levels.  My son would have spent more nights listening to his mother suffer.  I would not have reclaimed my functionality and ability to preserver though treatment.

Zackary & I just prior to my diagnosis

I will forever be in debt to this angel and they will always have a very special place in my heart.  I’m sure my angle has helped other sick people over these years.  This is a blessing.  We cannot allow the State of Washington to take away our ability to grow our own cannabis in our homes.  It is vital that this stay in place as it helps people. This is after all a plant with healing properties.  This is a right and freedom given to us by the voters of Washington State via I-692 in 1998. 

The human factor must be considered in this decision.  We live in a compassionate State that voted to allow medical use and care taking.  The voters of the great State of Washington have spoken.  We cannot allow our vote to be overridden.  Throwing our compassionate system out the window in exchange for tax revenue will hurt the very people it was voted in to help. 

Washington needs to be the focal point of the world wide cannabis activism community.  We are the front line now.  The line in the sand is being drawn here.  You can be guaranteed that the rules & regulations they implement here will the rules & regulations that other states & countries will live under as legalization rolls out worldwide.

We’ve removed two bricks from their once impenetrable wall.  There are chinks in their armor.  Let’s not trade out the old mime of prohibition for a new one.  We can do something about this.  It’s our responsibility to stand up and help them get this right!

Write and call the Attorney General.  Their phone number is 360-753-6200.  You can reach them on line at:  http://www.atg.wa.gov/ContactUs.aspx#.UmgSdfltiiA

UPDATE: They’ll ask you to email medicalmarijuana@liq.wa.gov and give your comments.  Still contact both!  Also call the Legislative Hot Line 800-562-6000

Tell him your medical cannabis story.  Be polite.  State facts and be clear.  Now is the time to find your voice!  They will win if we do not stand up and fight for our rights! Want to become even more involved?  Join us!  Volunteer with Seattle Hempfest as we start to wade our way through legalization.  Be the change you want to see.  Email us at hfcadmin@seattlehf.altadar.com Stop by our hemp boutique, Hempfest Central 12351 Lake City Way NE #102 here in Seattle become involved! 

Much hempy love!

Sharon 

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End Federal Scheduling

Let’s End Cannabis Prohibition Now!!!

How can we end Federal Prohibition? 

We’ve taken the first steps here in Washington State by passing I-502 and starting the legalization process.  We’re at an in-between spot right now.  A place where the Federal Government looms over our burgeoning cannabis movement and leaves us unclear as to whether it will fall and decapitate legalization or continue to bide it’s time and watch how the legalization process plays out in the States before it acts.

Cannabis is a Federal Schedule I Narcotic.  What does this mean excatly?

According to the US Department of Justice’s own website:

“Schedule I Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of substances listed in Schedule I are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (‘Ecstasy’).”

If cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use” then why has the US Federal Government has taken out US Patent #6630507, which states in its abstract:

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties … This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following … stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia…”

So as you can see, our Government has no problem turning a blind eye to the truth.  Even when the truth is so blatantly obvious to everyone else.

But what are we to do about it?  What power do we have?

We have the power of our vote! Let’s end Federal Cannabis Prohibition and the Scheduling of Cannabis here in the USA.

Here’s how you can help!

Visit congress.gov, get your elected representatives’ contact info, then:

Send your representatives an email, call and leave detailed messages with their staff or on their office’s voicemail, send them a hand-written letter via the Postal Service.  Follow your representatives on Twitter and Facebook.  Tweet to them and about them.   Send messages to them on Facebook and their other social networking accounts.  Post open letters to them on not only on their campaign and official pages but on their personal accounts as well.

Let them know that by the Government’s own admission, Cannabis has medicinal values and that you’d like the Federal Scheduling of Cannabis to be lifted. 

The will of the citizens of Washington and Colorado to legalize cannabis has been made clear by their vote.  Tell them to respect the will of the people by formally declaring that they will allow the States to implement systems of legalization without Federal interference. 

Let them know that you’re tired of hearing about Federal letters being sent to medicinal cannabis providers. 

It’s time to spend our tax dollars in ways that benefit society instead of policies and programs shown to be decidedly against both the will and the interests of the people.

Make sure your representatives understand that you won’t vote for them again and that you’ll encourage everyone you can to follow suit unless they start honestly dealing with cannabis as an issue.

We can do this!  We have started to create real legalization but we won’t really have it until we end the Federal Scheduling of Cannabis. 

Join us and let’s tilt the scales of justice in cannabis’ direction.  Be polite, engage in conversation, share your knowledge with everyone around you, get others involved, and remember to write your representatives frequently and ask them what they are doing about correcting the Federal Scheduling of Cannabis.  

Here are some Drug War facts taken from Marijuana Policy Project and Safer.org – share these with your representative, family and friends.

  • There have been almost 9.5 million cannabis arrests in the United States since 1995, including 872,720 arrests in 2007 – more than for all violent crimes combined, and an all-time record.
  • One person is arrested for cannabis every 36 seconds. About 89% of all cannabis arrests are for possession – not manufacture or distribution
  • Cultivation of even one cannabis plant is a federal felony.  A person must serve a 5-year, mandatory minimum sentence if federally convicted of cultivating 100 cannabis plants. This is longer than the average sentences for auto theft and manslaughter!
  • Federal government figures indicate there are more than 41,000 Americans in state or federal prison on cannabis charges right now, not including those in county jails. That’s more than the number imprisoned on all charges combined in eight individual European Union countries.
  • According to estimates by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron, replacing cannabis prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation would save between $10-14 billion a year in reduced government spending and increased tax revenues combined.
  • Because of cannabis prohibition, America’s largest cash crop is often grown by unregulated criminals, in environmentally damaging locations such as national parks and wilderness areas. Such problems are virtually unknown with legal, regulated crops such as tobacco or wine grapes.
  • The arbitrary criminalization of tens of millions of Americans who consume cannabis results in a large scale lack of respect for the law and the entire justice system.
  • The federal government is actively blocking research into cannabis’ use as a medicine. In fact, several researchers have filed lawsuits against the federal government, charging it with obstruction for failing to act on an application for approval to grow high-potency, research-grade marijuana at a university facility in Massachusetts. The researchers who filed suit are barred from obtaining research-grade marijuana from other countries, and the poor quality of the federal government’s marijuana makes its use unfeasible; thus they are unable to conduct research into marijuana’s medical use.
  • Sufferers of cancer, glaucoma, AIDS or HIV, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, and multiple sclerosis have found relief by using cannabis. It is also used to treat cachexia, anorexia, and wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain or nausea; seizure disorders (such as epilepsy); arthritis; migraines; and agitation of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Many people die from alcohol use. Nobody dies from cannabis use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths are attributed to alcohol use alone (this figure does not even include accidental deaths resulting as an incident of alcohol use). Interestingly, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of cannabis. 
  • Alcohol use damages the brain. Cannabis use does not. Despite the myths we’ve heard throughout our lives about cannabis killing brain cells, it turns out that a growing number of studies seem to indicate that cannabis actually has neuroprotective properties. This means that it works to protect brain cells from harm.
  • If you are concerned about cannabis being associated with lung cancer, you may be interested in the results of the largest case-controlled study ever conducted to investigate the respiratory effects of cannabis smoking and cigarette smoking. Released in 2006, the study, conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that cannabis smoking was not associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Surprisingly, the researchers found that people who smoked cannabis actually had lower incidences of cancer compared to non-users of the drug.

Seattle Hempfest has created a new web page End Federal Schedule of Cannabis.  Visit it and share it and this blog!  Get the word out!  Let’s end Federal Prohibition!

In hemp we trust!

Sharon

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A Farmer’s Market

Ever been to an actual cannabis farmers market?  It’s just as beautiful as you’d imagine!  We visited the World Famous Cannabis Farmer’s Market at 1912 Center Street in Tacoma on St Patrick’s Day.  The market is open the 1st & 3rd Sunday’s of each month from 11 – 5 PM. 

Why visit a Cannabis Farmer’s Market?

Knowledge & Competition.

Patients are given the rare opportunity to speak with the actual producers of their medicine.  The knowledge exchange is phenomenal to experience and makes Cannabis Farmer’s Markets the preferred way to secure medicine.

 

Being able to speak about your ailment directly to the grower and learn how different strains and products can be beneficial is an invaluable service and one rarely afforded most medical patients.  It’s developing a relationship with care providers to learn what works best for you in the most personal of ways!

I loved seeing the low THC high CBD cannabis at several booths. 

I loved discussing topicals with various manufacturers.  Hearing how they process lotions, tinksters, & medibles & the values they bring to patients is incredible!

The World Famous Cannabis Farmer’s Market features 30+ suppliers bringing their finest cannabis, of all grades & prices ranges, to support patients.  This means that prices are low and quality is high.   I saw many a fine ounce going for $125 – $140.  This makes purchasing your meds not only a more knowledgeable experience, but a more affordable one as well!

The Miller’s run the World Famous Cannabis Farmer’s Market with an eye on social responsibility.  They run a raffle of products donated by their vendors to support prisoners of the war on drugs.  Kristen Flor is their prison out reach coordinator.  She gathers the funds donated to the raffle, tickets are $2/ea or 3 for $5 and distributes it to folks like Chris Williams & Eddy Lepp – those doing time for cannabis offenses.  This is personal to Kristen as her own father, Richard Flor, died while in custody on cannabis charges.  

Can’t get to Tacoma to visit the granddaddy of all Farmer’s Market’s?

 

Several others have popped up including one down in Black Diamond at 26130 SE Green Valley Rd

I highly recommend visiting one soon!  You’ll be amazed by the experience and won’t buy your meds any other way!

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Ask Seattle Hempfest –

Question: I’m planning on being at the 2013 hempfest with a couple of friends. My question is do the medications being sold requiring a medical card and what are the restrictions of the festivities based on marijuana?

 

Anwer: Hello!  There is no cannabis sales allowed at Seattle Hempfest.  We strictly enforce this policy.  Vendors caught selling cannabis or cannabis foods are required to tear down their vending space and leave the park immediately and they are disallowed from vending in the future.  

 

We also do not allow the public to sell cannabis or cannabis foods either. They have the choice of A. Leaving the park or B. having their medicated food destroyed with vinegar.

 

Sorry to seem so harsh but selling cannabis in a park is a felony and would violate our permit so significantly that we’d not exist as an event if we didn’t have rules like this.  We love cannabis and we’d love nothing more than to see a huge bud market with the dankest of the dank every where, but alas, we can’t.  Bummer huh?

 

So bring your own and be as civilly disobedient as you wish!   Circle up! Make new freinds! Hempfest is certainly a smoke friendly zone and you’ll love tokin’ with 100,000 of your new Hempfest friends.  

 

I do have to note that anyone smoking cannabis, medical patient or not, is breaking the law by smoking publicly and in a park.  You are subject to arrest but the rules we’ve put into place and our enforcement of them as helped create the magical environment we all cherish and that we all get to enjoy each August where we can come together and enjoy cannabis.

 

Happy tokin!

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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

Pssst, There’s Snot in the Brownies!

Each year Seattle Hempfest fights a weird battle, the battle of unauthorized vending. As a 100% volunteer driven event, we are  dependent upon revenue generated by the vendors who pay to sell their wares at our event. These vendors, along with your donations, are the life’s blood of Seattle Hempfest that keeps our heart tokin’and our vision rollin’ along.

 

When you fill your backpack up with little pipes, jewelry you’ve made, or even worse; brownies or other food you intend to sell, you’re really hurting Hempfest. It hurts our vendors, without whom there would be no Seattle Hempfest. When they have to compete with some guy who is not supporting the cause but instead siphoning potential revenue away from the vendors, they lose money. When they lose, Hempfest loses too.

 

It’s weird to be the ganja food police at Seattle Hempfest but we find ourselves in that position. Who’d of thunk? We realize that not everyone has access to delicious edible treats but when you buy a brownie out of some guys backpack you really are taking a risk.

 

A few years back we heard a rumor that people ate brownies dosed with heroin at Seattle Hempfest and ended up in Harbor View. Thank the ganja gods that it was just a rumor but it really snapped us up to the reality that hey, you DON’T know what you are buying from some dude in a park, and wow what a health risk this backpack brownie business is.

 

Not to mention, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone busted selling brownies at Fest, back stepping about how there’s not even any cannabis in the brownies. Pisses me off even more! Now you’re admitting to selling bunk in our event?

 

The health department actually requires each of our real food vendors to have a health permit and follow safety guidelines to assure that no one gets sick. If someone does get sick they can say what food booth they ate at verses some random guy selling bunk brownies with snot and e-coli in them spreading his ass wiped handmade diarrhea food at will making YOU sick.

 

What to do? I know you want delicious brownie goodness to enjoy while at fest. Hell, so do I! The time is now, talk to your friends. Know anyone that cooks? Bring your own ganja goodness with you. Feel free to be as civilly disobedient as you please – with your own supplies. It’s actually an enhanced felony to sell cannabis or cannabis foods in a park, receiving them is, as well.

 

I’m tellin’ you folks, it’s just not worth the risk. I’ll take my brownies without the snot please.

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sharon@seattlehf.altadar.com

Producing Seattle Hempfest is a labor of Love.

Producing Seattle Hempfest is a labor of Love. We’ve worked, scattered throughout the state, from our homes, in solidarity but solitude, meeting in living rooms, coffee shops, & public meeting halls. Exploiting the invent of the internet and using tools like Skype and Google docs, we’ve rolled up one tight, phat, Hempfest after another. It’s a very intense process and illustrates the dedication and devotion of our core team many of whom sacrifice all else to make sure that Seattle Hempfest is the shiny new penny she is each year.

Each year, we give birth to a beautiful, bouncing Seattle Hempfest. Each year her gestation is different. The City and Parks Departments remold her and force us into a model of constant redesign. It’s amazing how it almost becomes Hempfest from scratch each year. Not a year has gone by in the past decade where they didn’t impede us with a construction project or other restriction that threatens our existence. Now it’s a walking bridge. With an ever changing completion date that impacts 2012’s production greatly.

What a relief that we’ll be facing all this turmoil, head on, from our first ever office! We’re moving into a combination headquarters, retail space located at 12351 Lake City Way NE here in Seattle. Hempfest Central will be the catalyst for our ever growing organization. Not only will she provide a home base from which to coordinate our beloved festival, she’ll also provide us with an opportunity to marry our festival merch in a retail location with our soon to be launched web stores.

We will be your one stop hemp shop carrying hemp clothes, accessories, foods, books, pet & skin care products. If we don’t have it; we can get it! We’ll carry all the gear and accessories that make Seattle Hempfest the magical place she is to shop. Everything about cannabis, but cannabis.

Hempfest Central will be the hempiest place on earth!

Follow our progress and watch us grow at http://www.facebook.com/hempfestcentral

It’s an honor to have you along!

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