Bring Them Home! Pot Prisoners A Focus Of 2019 Seattle Hempfest

While people gathered to do what people do at Seattle’s 28th annual Protestival, the message was a serious one.

While people gathered to do what people do at Seattle’s 28th annual Protestival, the message was a serious one.

Although more states than ever before have quasi-legal recreational laws regarding cannabis, people are still in jail for the medical use of the herb. The 28th annual event’s focus this year was “No Pot Prisoners! Bring Them Home!”

While attendees were still waiting at the gates to get in, volunteer Kari Boiter was reminding the press why Seattle Hempfest is still important in a state where adults over 21 can go into a shop on the corner and purchase their favorite type of cannabis to consume.

Pot prisoners’ organ transplants denied, says volunteer Kari Boiter

While attendees were waiting at the gates, likely sparking up in a wake-and-bake, volunteer press wrangler, Kari Bioter, reminded those gathered in the Hemposium why Hempfest is still relevant.

Hempfest was drummed in by indigenous Puget Sounders

Image: Four people standing behind a table full of assorted objects in front of a white tent

The staff at the UFCW21 Booth was friendly and happy to discuss cannabis worker’s rights

The Sacred Water Drummers opened the main event at the Share Parker Main Stage with indigenous songs.

Cannabis workers represented in a united way

Cannabis workers can be taken advantage of very easily. In a quasi-legal paradigm, many unscrupulous managers believe they can get away with the exploitation of their staff. There is a union, UFCW21, to help represent cannabis workers to help ensure that they are receiving the pay and benefits they earn.

Volunteers at the UFCW21 booth were ready to answer any questions about working in the cannabis industry.

Image: Six glass pipes in assorted colors, each etched with a different design. The most prominent pipe is blue with a tribal design

Glass art did not disappoint

Hand-etched pipes give everyone a chance to hold a piece of art in their hand

The tables and tables of glass art are one of the things that people in the local area flock to Seattle Hempfest for. This year, the artwork was extraordinary, like these pipes from a shop called Sketch and Burn, who etches each piece of glass by hand!

Sailboat on Elliott Bay with a small overloaded motor boat along side of it containing 3 people

The crowds were a bit heavy around 4:20, so some decided on another means of getting to the Protestival

Friday around 4:20 p.m., the music on the Share Parker Main Stage wasn’t the only thing catching a bit of attention. It looked as if a sailboat had been anchored near the shore of Myrtle Edwards Park in Elliott Bay, and it’s crew had all piled into a dingy and were headed to join the celebration.

Image: A multicolored painted bus behind a crowd of people milling about all in front of Elliott Bay with 2 cruise ships docked

The clouds did not keep the crowds away

The cruise ships docked in Elliott Bay made for an interesting backdrop to a multicolored Hempfest

The crowds of people attending all three days were not lessened by the cloudiness. In fact, the comfortable weather could have been a reason more people, young and old, were able to check out all of what Seattle Hempfest had to offer.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were somewhat overcast and in the mid-70s. Some would say perfect waterfront park weather for Seattle.

Serious topics discussed in the Hemposium

The canvas tent that housed the Hemposium panel discussions was full and busy for the daytime information sessions.

One of the most critical issues we are facing as a nation and a world is that of opioid dependence and addiction. In this video,

Adie Wilson-Poe, Ph.D. even explained how cannabis works to eliminate opioid cravings, something replacements cannot do!

A sign propped between a lawn and a stage with the words "Free Corvain Cooper serving LIFE for POT!" next to a burlap bag with the word marijuana on it

Everywhere you looked, the theme was repeated

Signs reminding everyone that people are currently in prison for the freedoms they were enjoying in the park, were everywhere

You couldn’t escape the theme of the 28th annual Seattle Hempfest. Signs denoting each “pot prisoner” were everywhere that the crowd strayed.

It’s worth saying that there are still several states in the country in which you could not even enjoy the freedoms that were displayed in the park over Hempfest, in the privacy of your own home. Hempfest is about changing that.

Leaving Hempfest by Powerchair to the words of Kari Boiter

A short clip from the 28th Annual Seattle Hempfest taken from the perspective of a powerchair. The chair starts out at the Hemposium, just after 4:20 p.m., and heads through the crowd towards and out the West Thomas Street overpass.

The audio overlay is the press conference given by Seattle Hempfest volunteer, Kari Boiter, at the inception of the event on Friday, August 16, 2019.

After Kari Boiter speaks, Colt DeMorris, founder and executive director of El Paso NORML gives a short presentation. Kari Boiter fades out as a different speaker was being introduced.

The volunteers were fantastic, they make the entire event possible.

This year’s Seattle Hempfest was a reminder to each and every participant and attendant that we, as a nation and even as a state, have leaps and bounds to go where cannabis law reform is concerned. We need to stop arresting people for cannabis and we need to let those who are serving time for an herb be free.

We need to bring them home!

It was great seeing Wayward Bill again from Colorado. He has since passed and is missed by many

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