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Oct-17-2015 02:39printcommentsVideo

2015 Hempstalk Harvest Festival Kicks off Saturday at 10am

Thousands Ascending on Portland to Celebrate Hemp and Cannabis, Rain or Shine!

Hempstalk 2014 @ Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR.
Photo: Bonnie King, Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The 11th Portland Hempstalk Harvest Festival is taking over Tom McCall Waterfront Park this weekend, and hemp enthusiasts couldn’t be happier.

Portland's annual Hempstalk Festival advocates decriminalization of hemp and cannabis for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use.

Though stories to the contrary were spread without foundation, Hempstalk is on!

Indeed, Portland Parks officials twice denied a permit only to have the City Council reverse the denial in August and asked the Parks bureau to try to make it work. Hempstalk festival organizers paid the Portland Parks Bureau nearly $17,000 on Wednesday for a permit to use Tom McCall Waterfront Park this weekend.

Featuring live music, guest speakers, information booths and food and gift vendors, the event is free to attend with a suggested donation of $10 per person.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of: Dr. Phillip Leveque, Wilson Lamere Jr., Melodie Silverwolf, Larry "LK" Kirk and Rod Platt.

Dr. Leveque studied Cannabis/Marijuana for over 50 years. He became a prominent supporter of Oregon’s 1998 medical marijuana initiative, helping legalize the use of marijuana as medicine. He fought for patients’ rights his entire career, and it was that very battle that stole his career from him. He never gave up though, and he “never let the bastards get him down.”

We are eternally grateful for the contribution that each of these esteemed people made so that others may live and use cannabis freely. They gave their all.

The Hempstalk Harvest Festival was founded in 2005 by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) to end prohibition of cannabis for all Americans.

“The biggest, most dangerous drug menace in America today is US federal law,” said Paul Stanford, founder and presenting sponsor of the event.

“Hempstalk is about the many uses of agricultural hemp fiber, oil, protein, fuel and medicine. We are working to end adult cannabis prohibition.”

In 2009, the Festival moved to Kelley Point Park, where it remained for five years. In 2013, an estimated 60,000 people attended the two-day event.

Last year, it was held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park amid disgruntled politics attempting to stymie the event. Attendance was about 10% of the previous year. The 2015 event is expected to be a very different experience.

Stanford expects higher attendance this year. “Free event. No fences. No searches,” said Paul Stanford. “Let freedom ring!”

What’s Happening and When

Hempstalk starts at 10 am and runs through 10 pm both Saturday and Sunday, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland.

Comedian/Writer Ngaio Bealum will be MC for the event. Bands on the bill for 2015 are John Trudell and Bad Dog, Herbivores, J Mack and Big Dub, Justin James Bridges, Los Mariuanos, Bad Habitat and many more.

Hundreds of food, crafts and goods vendors await the throngs of festival-goers with some of the most unique and beautiful items available anywhere.

The festival also offers educational guest speakers, discussing the merits of Cannabis and Hemp on the main stage as well as in the Hemposium pavilion addressing hot topics about industrial hemp, the legal use of marijuana, and answering other questions attendees may have.

There will be a Grand Prize Raffle both Saturday and Sunday at 5:55pm. Winners will be thrilled to go home with one of many unique and collectible items.

This year, they will be raffling a guitar that will be signed by every speaker and performer, a heady glass art creation from Mary Jane's House of Glass, a Hot Rod Bong Company creation and a compilation basket filled with signed CD's from several artists at the event.

Sunday’s highlights include federal medical cannabis patient Elvy Musikka and a 6:00 p.m. performance by a long time fest favorite, Los Marijuanos. And don’t forget the Fashion Show! It’s a performance unlike any other, with theme-driven costuming making memorable and informative statements.

This is truly a weekend of incredible entertainment very “worth watching”.

To Smoke (Pot) or Not to Smoke

Let’s talk about smoking pot in the park. Though it is legal for adults 21+ in Oregon to use and carry cannabis, they are not allowed to use it in public. Not even vaporized herb. A tented area, like a beer garden, would be one simple solution had Portland allowed it.

It is commonly believed that the anti-smoking laws for city parks were created with marijuana in mind, taking effect “coincidentally” just as cannabis was approved by Oregon voters. The sterilization of city parks was portrayed as an anti-tobacco crusade in all the cities that easily agreed to it.

Though the city of Portland has the prerogative to give an exception for a particular event, Hempstalk is not favored by Portland Parks and was given no leniency on behalf of the legal, responsible adults attending the event.

So many people complained that a response was elicited on Facebook from a Hempstalk core staff member, “Whining about it to us won't change anything. We want a smoking area too. The city council decided to go backwards instead of embracing legalization. If you want to use cannabis at Hempstalk, tell the city what you want!

“Call Mayor Charlie Hales (503- 823-4120) and Commissioner Amanda Fritz (503-823-3008) and let them know you want them to allow a smoking area at ALL events in Portland!”

There may be a semi-solution, but that remains to be seen: “There's supposed to be a smoking area under the Hawthorne Bridge, NOT in the park, where they will be checking people's ID. It is the same area used by tobacco smokers during the Waterfront Blues Festival,” added another Hempstalk staff member, noting that there are “no guarantees”.

Not everyone is worried about smoking, of course. “This may be an unpopular opinion and I’m okay with that but there is more to marijuana culture than just smoking. While I enjoy smoking, I had fun last year and there was no smoking then either. It was nice to be part of the culture, interact with people, see marijuana inspired art and clothing and win free stuff to get from dispensaries later,” commented Lisa on Facebook.

True, with over 100 booths and some of the most interesting people on the planet, there should be plenty of entertainment and activities to keep your mind off of smoking out.

Besides, edibles are not smoked... so, are therefore allowed. As long as you're over 21, it's perfectly legal to SHARE THE BROWNIE.


Footage: Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH)


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