Seattle Hempfest Myrtle Edwards Park, August 16-18


I helped dozens of people register to vote yesterday. It was an amazing (exasperating/ tiring/ satisfying/ frustrating/ inspiring) experience.

Some observations:

  1. Carrying a bowl of candy at Hempfest will make you a very popular person.
  2. This was by far the most sedate crowd I have ever encountered.Everyone was calm. And almost every person I spoke with was smiling.
  3. The diversity of cannabis activists and enthusiasts is astounding. This is a truly a universal issue.
  4. Most young people I spoke with (17-25) had  little knowledge of the political process. Many were genuinely interested in learning more, though, and some of the most in-depth conversations I had were with young adults wanting more information about the voting process in Washington State.
  5. I just learned that in Washington state, individuals with felony convictions who are no longer under supervision by the Department of Corrections have the right to vote in State elections.  _(Learn more here:  One woman almost started crying when I told her about this law. She was convinced she’d never be able to vote again after receiving a felony conviction for marijuana possession in her 20s. She must have said thank you at least 10 times as she filled out her registration form.


Talking about voting seems to strip away all the pretense and all the barriers people put in place when venturing out in public- when you sit down and really engage with people, and they recognize you don’t have an agenda- you’re not angling for them to vote for anything in particular, you just want them to vote, well then, all the walls come down and they really open up. Race/ethnicity/age/gender – none of that made a difference. I connected with people regardless of demographic.

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