At the Nova Glassworks workshop in Nyack, NY, the floor space is about equal to a gymnasium. In fact, a basketball hoop has been hung on the wall for pickup games during break time. Those breaks for the Nova glassworkers arrive hourly--and they need them to relieve the tension their bodies accumulate. Depending on the size and detail, they will spend anywhere from two to five hours fashioning a piece.
More than 100,000 people are expected to show their support for ending marijuana prohibition at this year's annual Seattle Hempfest, taking place this weekend (August 17-18) at Myrtle Edwards Park in downtown Seattle. The two-day event will feature more than 100 speakers, musical acts and DJs on six stages, as well as the world's largest hemp expo.
Last year's event drew over 150,000 attendees, making it the largest marijuana-law reform event ever held.
NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup, who will be speaking at the event, says that this year's Hempfest promises to be the most successful ever. "The Seattle Hempfest is the world's largest annual rally calling for an
end to marijuana prohibition," he said. "It is both a wonderful celebration of personal freedom and a powerful statement to end the war on responsible marijuana smokers."
This year's event has added importance because organizers will be collecting signatures to qualify Seattle Initiative 75 for the November ballot. Initiative proponents need to collect an additional 4,000 valid signatures at this year's event to place I-75 on the city ballot. If approved by the voters, I-75 would mandate city police make enforcement of marijuana laws their lowest priority.
In addition to Keith Stroup, NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, and NORML Affiliate Coordinator Kris Krane will be among dozens of prominent speakers at this year's gathering.
Sandee Burbank - Executive Director: Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse
Nora Callahan - Executive Director: The November Coalition
Chris Conrad - Author: Hemp: Lifeline to the Future
John Conroy - Attorney; Canada NORML; Free Renee Boje
Diane Fornbacher - Executive Director: Tri-State Drug Policy Forum
Debby Goldsberry - Founder: Cannabis Action Network
Jack Herer - Author: The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Dominic Holden - Director: Seattle Hempfest; Sensible Seattle
Kyle Kushman - Cultivation Reporter: High Times Magazine
Nick Licata - Seattle City Council Member
Ann McCormick - Compassionate Moms
Joanna McKee - Founder: Green Cross
Vivian McPeak- Executive Director: Seattle Hempfest
Elvy Musikka - Federal Medical Marijuana Recipient
Lee Newbury - NORML of South Puget Sound
Bob Newland - Executive Director: South Dakota NORML
Mikki Norris - Executive Director: Cannabis Consumers Campaign
Ed Rosenthal - Author: "Ask Ed"
Jeffery Steinborn - Attorney; NORML Board of Directors
Don Wirtshafter - President: The Ohio Hempery
Kevin Zeese - Executive Director: Common Sense for Drug Policy
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.seattlehempfest.com