Drugs Re: Last Weekend on Drugs
posted by August 18 at 14:43 PMon
I totally agree with Dom: Hempfest is a good—no, great—thing. We should be proud that every year 100,000 people gather in the middle of this city, right under the windows of a newspaper overseen by the DEA’s useful idiots, to openly smoke pot, and that thousands of joints are distributed—free—to the crowd while the police look on. It is a giant challenge—an enormous fuck you, actually—to our idiotic drug laws and, again, to the useful idiots that do so much to preserve the status quo. The folks openly smoking pot at Hempfest call to mind the folks that marched for gay rights way back when gay people could still be arrested for declaring their homosexuality publicly. The pot smokers at Hempfest are brave and necessary and sometimes a little embarrassing, yes, just like some of the folks at the gay rights marches were (and are) embarrassing. But they’re gonna change things—hell, they already have.
But I also agree with Brendan, in as much as I go out of my way to avoid Hempfest. But it’s not the dirty hippies that bother me—and you do realize, hippy-bashers, that the hippies were right about pretty much everything?—it’s the… smoke. Being at Hempfest means moving through a cloud of second-hand pot smoke all day long. And guess what? Pot smoke isn’t pleasant. It stinks. It’s nasty. Inhaling other people’s pot smoke may be a little less unpleasant, I suppose, than inhaling other people’s cigarette smoke. But not by a lot. So I prefer to smoke pot in places that immediately revert to a smoke-free environments just as soon as I’m high. I’d rather not get high in a crowd of folks creating a constant cloud of second-hand pot smoke (and cigarette smoke too), thanks.
Another Hempfest disconnect: I’ve always gotten the feeling—induced or enhanced by the pot perhaps—that Hempfest isn’t an entirely safe place for a gay person to let down his guard. There’s are just too many punchy, stoned, agro teenage boys from Bremerburibotheltan in the crowd for me to relax. Oh, and the music is too loud, I don’t enjoy being in big crowds, and I hate having to stand in line for food, water, and toilets.
But as a pot smoker who supports Hempfest’s goals while pretty much loathing the Hempfest experience, I have to say that I absolutely love Brendan’s idea about a little Hempfest counter-programming—but instead of thinking of counter-programming as anti-Hempfest, we should view it—and promote it—as way for those of us who believe in Hempfest’s goals but don’t enjoy the Hempfest experience to show our support. I love the idea of a bunch of people gathering at SAM—or Alki or the Pacific Science Center or Pike Place Market or the Downtown Library or all of the above—and, at a prearranged time, smoking up in solidarity with the throngs at Hempfest. Then, once everyone is good and baked we can put away the pot, the air will quickly clear, and we can proceed to enjoy the art—or the beach or the laser light show or the food stalls or the stacks—in our stoned states, making our pro-stoner statement.
We could think of this counter-programming as Hempfest satellites, mini Hempfest actions taking place all over town, and create them specifically to target the folks turned off by sun- and pot-baked teenagers, marijuana-leaf leis, tie-dye, and reggae.
It’s a great idea, Brendan, let’s do it.