Hempfest In Seattle Attracts Over 150,000
More than 150,000 people attended a "Hempfest" in Seattle to promote the use of marijuana as a medicinal product, a spokesman says.
The event also attracted about 100 vendors to Myrtle Edwards Park, Elliott Bay Park and Olympic Sculpture Park, The Seattle Times said Sunday.
Some came to listen to music, others to shop for clothing and other marijuana paraphernalia, and some just came to have a good time, the report said.
An advocacy group called Sensible Washington used the event to launch a campaign to pass a voter initiative to legalize marijuana in 2011. The group didn't get enough signatures to make the 2010 ballot, the report said.
"We know marijuana is just a safe, benign, therapeutic substance," said Douglas Hiatt, a medical-marijuana attorney and chairman of Sensible Washington.
A woman dressed as a purple cannabis fairy with elf ears handed out weed leis, while doctors spoke of the herb's medicinal powers at a nearby 'Hemposium,' the report said.
Admission to the event was free, but organizers asked for a $10 donation to cover event costs estimated at $350,000.
This was the 20th year of the event, and it has received more and political support over time.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) spoke passionately to the audience gathered at the main stage Saturday afternoon.
"Seattle you shook the world once, can you shake it again, I ask you!" he said in support of issues like withdrawal of U.S. military troops around the world, gay rights and even universal health care.