Seattle HEMPFEST® Event Press Releases

Media inquiries may email or call us at HEMPFST® Central, 206-36-4HEMP(4367)

NEWS ADVISORY                              Contact: Vivian McPeak  (206) 364-HEMP


Release date: July 31, 2015

The 24th Annual Seattle HEMPFEST® protestival says: “Americans are suffering,  we need Cannabis Science, Now!”

SEATTLE, WA — The world’s largest “protestival,” the Seattle HEMPFEST® organization is calling for the government to tear down its legal barriers to scientific study of the cannabis plant, citing various ways that humanity is harmed by the lost potential that medical marijuana and industrial hemp could offer through legal research and development.

Vivian McPeak, the HEMPFEST® event’s executive director agrees. “It is time for the DEA or Congress to de-schedule cannabis entirely, just like alcohol and tobacco, both of which are known killers. Treat cannabis like other botanical medicines by allowing the scientific community to examine the cannabis plant in every way possible”, says McPeak. “It is time to let the truth free. We need cannabis science, now,” McPeak continues.

Over 100,000 people are expected to attend the three-day, waterfront legalization rally in one of the first two states to legalize. The 24th annual Seattle HEMPFEST® protestival hours are noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 14, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 15-16. The admission-free fest spans nearly 1.5 miles and three waterfront parks: Olympic Sculpture, Myrtle Edwards and Centennial parks.

The Seattle HEMPFEST®Protestival features six stages of speakers and music, 400 arts, crafts, food and informational vendors, and remains the most sophisticated marijuana reform rally in the world.  Seattle HEMPFEST® Protestival features a broad selection of the nation’s leading reform activists as well as authors, politicians, and medical marijuana patients. In past years, Seattle’s current and past Mayor, the president of its city council, its city attorney, a former police chief, a state representative, a state senator, and a former and current U.S. Congressman have participated as guest speakers, which no other reform event has achieved.

“The Seattle HEMPFEST® Protestival is the most socially responsible cannabis related public event in the world”, says McPeak. “We are counting on our attendees to keep it that way by respecting local businesses and neighborhoods. Folks need to leave pets at home, not in their cars. Alcohol, fireworks, narcotics and weapons are not allowed. We want to increase the peace and unity in our community by protesting responsibly”, he continued.

Attendee information can be found at

Attendees are encouraged to use the new entrance at the Thomas Street Footbridge, found at 3rd Avenue W., between Harrison Street and W. Thomas Street.



Set the truth free. Cannabis Science Now!

Before cannabis was prohibited in the early 20th century, it was one of the most widely prescribed botanical medicines in the pharmacopeia.  Its safety has been supported by the fact that humans have used it therapeutically for thousands of years. Not content with just prohibiting the sale, manufacture, & use of cannabis, the United States government has also prevented scientific research from being conducted on any promising aspects of cannabis for many decades.

Despite prohibitionist restrictions, some science has taken place albeit primarily via the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where research is limited to harmful effects of the drug on the brain and body. Despite this research bias, there is still a large body of work supporting that cannabis has significant therapeutic potential. Research bias in the United States has prevented many people from receiving the benefit of reduced suffering in untreatable disease as well as the potential for actual treatment for a wide range of diseases.

Relief delayed and obstructed?

In America and beyond, there are many children and adults suffering from a host of neurological, autoimmune and degenerative diseases such as autism spectrum, epilepsies, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s  disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  Conventional medicine and pharmaceutical products have little to offer these patients while cannabis has the potential to provide effective treatment and/or relief.  This year the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in a new position statement that cannabis “may be useful in treating some illnesses of the brain and nervous system” and called on the federal government to allow research to happen.

Both child and adult athletes often suffer traumatic injuries to the head and brain. Cannabinoids are the only compounds that have been identified as potential neuro-protectant and anti-inflammatory agents. They have shown potential in animal models that mimic traumatic brain injury for preventing further damage and accelerating healing, and even grow new brain cells.

An average of 22 U.S. veterans commit suicide each and every day. Cannabis, as a whole plant medicine, has shown potential in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), pain, and depression, all common disorders veterans experience after discharge. Soldiers suffering from combat related injuries all over the world could benefit from cannabis as medicine.

A Cannabis Use Survey has revealed that anxiety and depression are third in the list of conditions for which patients self-treat with cannabis in Washington State. In fact, one in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication, some of which have shown potential catastrophic side effects. Cannabis is safe and non-toxic, and has promise in treating both anxiety and depression without intolerable side-effects.

America’s baby boomers are aging, and ground breaking research in Israel, where scientific study on cannabis is allowed, indicates that cannabis has great promise in the treatment of dementia.  Israel’s ministry of health licensed 10,000 patients to use cannabis medicinally and has sanctioned more than a dozen studies to treat dementia as well as illnesses like Crohn’s disease, PTSD, pain, and even cancer.

Much of American research is focused on cost-prohibitive, potentially addictive, pharmaceutical drugs that have unknown long-term effects.  Nearly seven out of 10 Americans were prescribed at least one drug in 2009, and half were given two or more, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic. Prescription medicine has progressed at unprecedented levels, while consumers are trending back toward natural and botanical medicines, such as cannabis.

60 percent of the 38,329 people who died of a drug overdose in the U.S. in 2010 died taking prescription drugs. Three out of four of those deaths were caused by opioid analgesics, according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers alone, although that number is likely higher.

Cannabis is known to work wonderfully for pain management. Additionally cannabis has never killed a single person from overdose or toxic reaction, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Science lags behind public awareness

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” It is impossible to truly gauge how much needless suffering may have been prevented if scientific study of cannabis would have been allowed these last decades.  Scientific prohibition has likely cost many lives, as well as quality of life, by thwarting scientific advancement on several fronts.

In January of 2014 President Obama publicly declared that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol. In a historic recent development, Congress has prevented federal intervention in states that have legalized medical cannabis.

A clear majority of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana. Now that things are changing dramatically in public policy, it is time to the set the truth free.

It is now time for the DEA to de-schedule cannabis once and for all so the plant can legitimately join the American Herbal Pharmacopeia with its botanical counterparts. This move would enable clinical trials of locally-accessed products, not just government-grown pot. How can we miss this opportunity for a homegrown, American-made, sustainable industry that could do public good while revitalizing our stumbling economy?

Hemp is on the way

But that’s not all. Cannabis prohibition has also prevented innovation and advancement in the U.S. industrial hemp industry merely because hemp looks like intoxicating “marijuana.”

The potential that hempcrete, hemp bio-composites, hemp fiber board, hemp seed oil, hemp foods, textiles, paper, and other industrial, environmental and agricultural applications that the cannabis genus offers are almost incalculable.  Research and development must take place in the industrial hemp industries as well, particularly so that America can catch up to the other developed countries that possess the varieties that meet current, and in many cases, sophisticated market demands. And hemp is the future in ways we never imagined! There have been amazing discoveries in the last year that hemp cellulose is superior to graphene and ideal for 3D-printing, super-capacitors and nanotechnology.

America is already the largest importer of industrial hemp products in the entire world, importing over $620 million in 2014, and importing 90% of all hemp seed grain and oil being harvested and produced in Canada. Industrial hemp is literally a biospheric sponge, soaking up and converting carbon dioxide, while its long tap roots help maintain moisture and are phenomenal erosion controllers. However, industrial hemp continues to be lumped in with intoxicating “marijuana” by the federal government, impeding research and development, while industrial hemp could potentially produce as many new jobs as The New Deal.

Final note

Finally, with recreational retail outlets opening up in at least four states it is even more important for critical health and safety research to take place concerning cannabis and its use. Public safety demands it.

— By Vivian McPeak, Dr. Michelle Sexton, Dr. Michele Ross, Joy Beckerman. All Rights Reversed. Reprint at will. 



May 8, 2013

               Seattle Events, a Non-Profit Corporation, Producer of Seattle HEMPFEST® 2013    

                                    12351 Lake City Way N.E. #102 , Seattle, WA, 98125                                                                                                                                         

            – – (206) 36-4HEMP(4367)

NEWS ADVISORY                            

Contact: Vivian McPeak (206) 295-7258 or (206) 36-4HEMP(4367) E-mail:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              

     Seattle HEMPFEST® 2013 Permit Process Advancing


Seattle Hempfest is pleased that the Special Events process is continuing and looks forward to the City’s anticipated issuance of a Special Event Permit for this year’s 22nd  annual Hempfest, to be held at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, on August 16,17 and 18, 2013.

Hempfest has been pleased to meet with interested community groups about the festival, at the City’s suggestion.  With the exciting developments following passage of I-502, we believe Hempfest 2013 will be a great event.

Hempfest understands that nearly all issues concerning traffic management, times, dates, hours of operation, use of the new Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge as a new alternative entrance, medic, fire and police presence have been addressed and resolved by the Special Events Committee.

So long as the Committee continues to review recommendations, and prepare the final permit conditions, Hempfest believes that the internal deliberative process for all involved agencies deserves respect and will make no further comment.