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Friday, August 15, 2008

The Rickster

posted by on August 15 at 11:40 AM

PBS’s affable man of travel, Rick Steves, will be speaking at Hempfest this weekend (Saturday and Sunday in Myrtle Edwards Park). His standard rap about reforming pot laws is pretty mind-blowing coming from such a strait-laced celebrity. I called Steves in Brussels last week to ask how his crusade is going, whether he’s pissed KOMO wouldn’t run his television show, and what’s up with the pot movementís image problem. The full web-exclusive interview is over here.

On Hempfest and his pot-smokiní church pals:

You can go to church with 300 people and think you are the only person who smokes pot because nobody will talk about it in that venue. I have friends at my church who smoke pot and it is so fun to have that sort of silent support group.

One great thing about Hempfest is getting 80,000 people together who believe that smoking a soft drug is a civil liberty. It encourages you to realize you are far from alone.

On Holland:

I’ve been in Holland for the past week, and just marveling at looking out over the square at breakfast. People were biking to work and biking their kids to daycare, and there’s a policeman standing there monitoring, keeping the peace. Everybody cares about neighborhoods and their security. And two blocks over, there are prostitutes trying to lure guys into their little rooms, and over at that coffee shop they have 10 different kinds joints out, all rolled up and laid out like little Pez dispensers. Everybody works together and lives together and… it can be a little more tolerant. People can have a few more individual liberties and still live in densely populated situations, they don’t have anywhere near the same amount of incarceration and violence we have in the United States.

On his business:

Well, if someone hears me talk about drug policy and then says he is not going to go to Europe with me, deep down in my heart I celebrate. Because I think Europe will be better off without him.

Curiously, people are most offended not by me taking a political stance, but by the fact that I would take a stance that could hurt my business. They find that really offensive to American profit-maximizing sensibilities.

On hippies:

You think of all my pot-smoking friends who don’t go to Hempfest because it’s not their culture. Ö I walked with my wife the length of Hempfest and it really scared her. It was a freak show to her. It shouldn’t be traumatizing for a person who is inclined to agree with the decriminalization movement to walk through Hempfest.

So remember, folks, if you have a tie dye, be sure to set it on fire before going to Hempfest. Iíll be speaking there, and I may even wear this shirt again.

RSS icon Comments

1

Wow, I never realized Dominic was sofa king H O T!

Posted by Mike in MO | August 15, 2008 12:03 PM
2

Interesting... Is Seattle the only city with a Hempfest? I'd hope not, especially since Seattle doesn't seem to be much of a pot city to me. It's a shame they didn't advertise it sooner - my mates and I heard about it just the other day (via Slog) and were crushed, since we all already have plans. But, as a Hempfest fan told me on the bus yesterday, "If you're not in 'our culture,' we don't want ya there!" Don't tell Rick Steves.

Posted by James | August 15, 2008 12:14 PM
3

Repost alert........

Hey, Dom, Hempfest, et. al., at Reason Magazine, here....

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/128120.html

Posted by P to the J | August 15, 2008 12:19 PM
4

i fucking loved this interview. rick steves made me the alleged man i am today. sort of.

Posted by adrian | August 15, 2008 12:23 PM
5

So, um, why no coverage of the music they're playing this weekend?

You know, for those of us who don't go for the weed ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 15, 2008 12:34 PM
6

Yeah Dom, you're smokin hawt in that pic. Damn.

Posted by NaFun | August 15, 2008 12:34 PM
7

Whatever you do, Dom, you should wear those JEANS again. And forego the shirt...

Posted by Trey | August 15, 2008 1:02 PM
8

I love Adrian, but I want to spank Dominic. A lot.

Posted by Soupytwist | August 15, 2008 1:13 PM
9

Last night Dominic Holden Caufield was hotter than the the dated photo linked - clean-shaven and clean-shaped. Clearly, someone that may know more about Humpfest than Hempfest.

/signed/ Unindulged Fantasy

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | August 15, 2008 2:06 PM
10

@2 "Seattle doesn't seem to be much of a pot city to me" WTF?!? so, did you move here from Amsterdam or Eugene?

Posted by james silla | August 15, 2008 2:45 PM
11

@10:

Ha ha. No, I've never been to either. I moved here from the midwest, but I've been to most of the country (urban and rural). Seattle's the least-accessible pot city/locale I've ever been to. I know it goes against this city's reputation, but that's been my frank and surprising experience for all the years I've lived here.

But, it's good to know they have a Hempfest. Hope it's better advertised next year.

Posted by James | August 15, 2008 4:57 PM
12

Wife?

Posted by alan | August 16, 2008 3:58 AM

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