Hemp Needs Help: Organizers Say City Regulations, Bad Economy Threaten Hempfest

July 31 2009 – Seattle – ​Could the world’s biggest celebration of ganja be gone-ja? (Now the article has its obligatory pot pun.) With a new administrationowljesterhempfest-thumb-450x164 that might be a little less drug war-crazy and hard times leading state governments to study the budget benefits of marijuana legalization, this should be a banner year for Hempfest. But festival organizers say banners may in fact be their undoing. That and the bum economy, of course.

The Parks Department, say organizers, is looking to collect $100 per “commercial banner,” its standard fee for events. Hempfest organizers didn’t pay the fees last year, and feel they shouldn’t have to this year either, as they believe that the city isn’t clear on what constitutes a commercial banner and that some of the fees may unconstitutionally suppress speech.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the city and the festival have clashed: They fought over permitting in both 2006 and 2007. “I don’t think the city is out to get us–they’ve been really fair to us, in general” says McPeak, who adds that “everyone’s looking to get revenue” in the bad economy. “But the best way to stop a free speech organization is to raise their costs until they can’t operate anymore.”

Both the Parks Department and Hempfest say they are awaiting an opinion from the City Attorney’s office on how the commercial banner rule should be interpreted; but neither the City Attorney’s office nor the Parks Department has responded yet to SW requests for further comment.

McPeak says Hempfest cost $260,000 last year, and ended up $3,000 in the black. (It’s a non-profit, all-volunteer affair, so the money goes back into the next year’s festival.) But money’s tighter this year. So he’s calling for people to pitch in. “Nationally, we have a dialogue on decriminalization, regulation, and legalization that we haven’t had in over thirty years. It would be a terrible time in the movement for Hempfest to go away.”

Should you like to send a token of support to the supporters of tokin’, you can do so via NORML. By Damon Agnos. Source.

0 responses to “Hemp Needs Help: Organizers Say City Regulations, Bad Economy Threaten Hempfest”

  1. To whom it may concern

    This arequuest to understand that the planet know as Hemp hasbeen use for many years as biable product and will when and if it is use to Save the Planet .

    There are two processes one is for Industrial use

    The second is for organic use

    In the 1933 Hemp was a billion dollar industry
    and with the techno in this day and age we could feed and clothe and shelter the world

    Dan Valdes Planetwaves

  2. May i suggest the event of a life time
    Environmental Trade Show & A Celebration for Peace Concert
    These events together would bring eco jobs and stimulate nonviolence
    with the youth from students and street kids being invited to put on such an event . This would be put on in every major city and province and state and country .The Trade Show would allow the youth to see all the solutions that could and would help with the environmental problems they face in the future . The booths that are on Display featuring eco solutions would allow the kids to get involved , and funds
    raised by the event would be used to train and support the youth to put on theses events annually . The Peace Concert will bring the youth together by the draw of the Idol`s and those `s performing will straighten their beliefs in the cause to Save the Planet and provide them green jobs for their future . This would give them a hopeful outlook for the future and stimulate the economy by promoting green solutions . We would bring the street kids in to the production of the events remember the events will be held in every city and state and country so there will be lots of work to do all year round a Three day event fri ,sat, sunday they would be held . the Trade Show opens at 10 am and closes at 9pm that’s when the Concert starts and ends at 12pm the event will close
    When all is done an said the program does not stop with that an office will open for the kids to work out of and start with the next event for the fallowing years

    where this comes from is the apple Computor company in 1986 they to promote their apple it brought tens of thousands of people most students in the San Francisco area to the event and a major artist line up of talent this sent apple off in the tehno world . So i beleave that the Trade Show and Concert would work for the public and the students and youth in general will benifit from this program that will provide Jobs and stimulate the econimy and keep the youth from running with the gang and guns and drugs . Thank You


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