Notes from Seattle's Hempfest 2012

 Notes from Seattle’s Hempfest 2012

In past years, talk amongst Hempfest attendees would focus on waxing poetic about the possibility of marijuana someday being fully legalized. Oh, how times have changed. The argument is no longer a “maybe” or “someday” proposition, as at least three states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington) will have ballot initiatives in November providing for the legalization and taxation of Cannabis.

Colorado will vote on Amendment 64, Oregonians will cast their vote on The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act and Washington state’s citizens will cast a decision on I-502. And for the first time ever, polls are showing support “for” at 50% or higher, so it is no longer a case of maybe; there is a very real possibility that at least one state in the U.S. will fully legalize marijuana for those 21 and over.

While some of the details are different,  most of  the ballot initiatives are similar. Surprisingly, at this year’s Seattle Hempfest there was a strong contingent “against” I-502 and all of these legalization efforts in general. Some in the Medical Cannabis industry see it as a threat to their businesses, some take exception with the idea of stringent THC level-based driving restrictions. Others were very concerned about enacting laws that provide for more prosecution and oversight by a government they do not trust on the legalization - especially at the fed level.

This is a bit of a watershed moment in the industry where legalization is on the table (albeit with some reasonable restrictions) and there are advocates and industry leaders actively working AGAINST them.
Should be an interesting November election.

Here is an excellent article via LA Times regarding Seattle’s Hempfest.

MJ Freeway's CEO, Amy Ponsett, and the legendary Steve DeAngleo at Hempfest 2012!