August 17, 2008

Hempfest Draws Throngs to Seattle Park

Tens of thousands of cannabis lovers gathered on the Seattle waterfront this weekend to celebrate and promote their favorite plant.

The 17th annual Hempfest in Myrtle Edwards Park was expected to draw a total of 100,000 participants promoting recreational, medical and other uses of the plant, including for biofuel, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported Sunday.

"It's kind of our main thing because this country is really missing out on how it can be used positively for everyone," said volunteer Dale Rogers.

The only controversy was driven by hemp activists unhappy about a proposed Washington state limit on medical marijuana, The Seattle Times reported Sunday. Speakers urged crowds to rally at an Aug. 25 Department of Health hearing against a new state rule that would limit the 60-day supply for medical marijuana to 24 ounces and six mature pot plants.

"Every single patient I know will not be in compliance with the 60-day rule. It's not going to work. It's driven by law enforcement, not science," said lawyer Douglas Hiatt, who represents medical-marijuana users.