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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Vicious Hempfest Debate About Whether to Have a Vicious Hempfest Debate

Posted by on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 7:02 AM

Hempfest is this weekend—hurrah!—and, because marijuana and the internet make people really weird, the big chatter is a Twitter-and-YouTube fight between Hempfest director Vivian McPeak and comedian Brett Hamil.

As you may recall, Hamil posted a blistering video in June that criticized McPeak, who opposed the legalization initiative last year even though he runs Hempfest, and the organization as a whole, which decided to stay "neutral" on legalization while Hempfest was overrun with bogus anti-legalization messages. McPeak took umbrage with the video, not surprisingly, and lit into Hamil this month with a debate challenge:

Next the thread plunged into a hotbox of fury, with McPeak accusing Hamil of producing a "a video of lies," and Hamil accusing McPeak of telling "CANCER PATIENTS they would DIE IN PRISON if I-502 passed." (For the record, I don't recall McPeak saying cancer patients would die in prison if I-502 passed.) Since McPeak insisted he wouldn't debate before the event, I asked him by e-mail last week if he wanted to rebut Hamil with a guest post on Slog so he could "speak directly to readers without any filter from us getting in the way." McPeak did not reply. But Hamil has replied, making this new video that argues McPeak had more than a month to debate and calls Hempfest's position on I-502 a "bullshit stunt these double-dealing self-serving weasels pulled on their constituents last year":

Remember, everyone, pot makes you mellow.


Comments (23) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
The biggest impediment to pot legalization (and, especially, normalization) is stoner culture itself. This can be confirmed by taking a quick stroll through Hempfest.
Posted by jeffinfremont on August 14, 2013 at 7:15 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 2
@1: Yep. Myths and factless emotional appeals are endemic to stoner culture. It's like they decided to take the wrong opposition to drug-FUD and ape the establishment's lies and insincere exaggerations.
Posted by undead ayn rand on August 14, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
@1 - Yeah, I'm all in favor of legalizing marijuana, but it's hard to argue its medical importance when you're pointing out the value of Mellow Malibu Rainbow versus Ultra Purple Thai or whatever. All I know is what I saw in those dispensary ads that were in the sidebar.
Posted by Chris B on August 14, 2013 at 7:52 AM · Report this
he's so cute
Posted by Rowlf on August 14, 2013 at 7:58 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 5
Like most debates, I don't care much about this one. I'll side with McPeak, because I have a benign affection for the name Vivian. Vivian Vance RiP.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 14, 2013 at 7:58 AM · Report this
The anti-I502 crowd made Hempfest incredibly uncomfortable to go to last year. I'll be skipping this year. And the next, and the next, and the next...
Posted by treehugger on August 14, 2013 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
What's the point of arguing? Legalization is a fait accompli.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 14, 2013 at 8:03 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 8
Why is anyone still debating I-502. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it passed 9 months ago. Pot has been decriminalized. It's done.

What? Does McPeak want to re-criminalize it? WTF? If she doesn't like it, she is free to start a new initiative to her liking. But there seems little point in this bickering over an initiative almost a year after it passed.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on August 14, 2013 at 8:07 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 9
So which one wants to make recess longer, and which one wants to make school lunches tastier? I always get those two campaign platforms confused in contests like this.
Posted by Sir Vic on August 14, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
CC-Rob 10
Stoner fight!
Posted by CC-Rob on August 14, 2013 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@3, to be fair, the different strains are a pretty interesting subject, even if most Hempfesters themselves are the opposite of interesting.

And not all of them have wacky names; the recent Sanjay Gupta special "Weed", in which he recants his previous skepticism of medical benefits (with some caveats), has the powerful story of a young girl who since birth had been having near-constant epileptic seizures, unamenable to any of the hundreds of drugs the parents tried (including heavyweights like phenobarbitol), but stopped instantly after she was given some stuff called, I think, "R74", an unpopular strain with almost no THC but a ton of another cannabinoid, CBD. Boom, they stopped. If you can watch the footage of her seizing and not feel your heart in your throat at the horror of it, five years worth, and then not get angry when you see the medicine that made her instantly better still subject to insane laws and hundreds of thousands of people in jail, you're not human. Imagine if that family lived in Mississippi, or Washington just a couple of years ago. Watch it; it's a fascinating look. The strain is now called "Charlotte's Web" after the girl, which isn't wacky at all but deeply affecting.

As for the I-502 fight, I'm afraid I find the antis to be almost entirely stupid hippies, babbling on about sanctified herb and Bob Marley earth mother nonsense. And yes, recriminalization is what they want.
Posted by Fnarf on August 14, 2013 at 9:15 AM · Report this
@8...,., Stereotype much??? She?????
Posted by pupuguru on August 14, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 13
@8 "Why is anyone still debating I-502."

Because I-502 threatens the business model and cash flow of certain people, both who sell marijuana, and those who imprison those who sell and use marijuana. Someone should ask McPeak directly if I-502 will cause him to lose any money.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on August 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 14
@12, Oops. Excuse me for thinking "Vivian" was a woman's name. Yes. I'm totally stereotyping. My bad.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on August 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 15
13, exactly. Stoners will be mellow, but money can make monsters of us all.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on August 14, 2013 at 12:39 PM · Report this
watchout5 16
This is my favorite debate.
Posted by watchout5 on August 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
17 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Does anyone remember in 2011 when I-502/ A New Approach SPONSORED Hempfest Mainstage?
Posted by secretskwerl on August 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM · Report this
Does anyone remember in 2011 when A New Approach WA/Rick Steves/I-502 SPONSORED Hempfest Mainstage?
Posted by secretskwerl on August 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM · Report this
@13, won't hempfest itself become irrelevant in a world of legal and socially acceptable weed? There will be little point in hanging out in the park defiantly smoking up and trying to convince people of all the "legitimate" uses. That seems like kind of a big downside to McPeak.
Posted by beef rallard on August 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Dude I could care less if some med patient gets a DUI. How many less people (mostly minorities) are going to be arrested now for simple pot possession vs how many people (who have to be driving poorly to be pulled over in the first place) are arrested for a pot related DUI.

If weed makes you drive shitty, don't drive or risk a DUI. It's such a simple law, and fair too. People who are intoxicated on medically legal pain medications can be arrested just the same, and those patients doctors aren't "crying fowl."

Everyone knows the medical marijuana industry is a farce (not medical marijuana, the INDUSTRY). Even med patients will have more access to tinctures and oils that were regulated and they know were made with 02 and C02 and not butane which is unnecessary in the production of hash oil (ask anyone with a vaporizer, its the same concept as distillation).

I say, stop giving voice to this discussion because it is pointless. Legalizing marijuana is not for the financial benefit of the medical pot business, it is 100% progress on the persecution of those that do not fall under the privilege that comes with being white. To say that this legislation is anything but progress is a complete fallacy.

Nuff' Sed.
Posted by michael bell on August 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
11 nailed it without even writing 1/4 of what I said...
Posted by michael bell on August 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23
I'll be steadfastly anti-stoner, and nothing you can say will change my mind. Until they move Hempfest out of Myrtle Edwards Park to literally any other venue imaginable. I'm not asking much.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this

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