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Thursday, August 17, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Marijuana policy reform is emphasis at Hempfest

Learn while celebrating at Seattle Hempfest, a "protestival" for industrial hemp and marijuana law reform at Myrtle Edwards Park this weekend. Part political rally, with speakers and information advocating the decriminalization of marijuana for adults, legal access to medical marijuana and legal domestic hemp production; and part festival, with music, arts and crafts, vendors and food, the annual event expects more than 100,000 attendees over its two-day run.

Information by leading experts on marijuana policy reform throughout the event includes former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, speaking Sunday afternoon. Popular Air America personality Randi Rhodes is the special guest emcee at the Mainstage 2-4 p.m. both days. Rock, jazz, blues and electronic music on five stages perform throughout both days of the event.

Many vendors feature hemp items and the Hemposium area and stage features exhibits, displays and discussions on the many uses of industrial hemp in addition to the festival's main focus to change America's pot laws.

Hempfest attendees are reminded that all local, state and federal laws in are in full effect at the event and Seattle parks are designated as "Drug Free Zones," with increased penalties for selling and buying controlled substances. Hempfest and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) are the sponsors.

Hours:

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No dogs except medical-service dogs allowed.

Admission:

Free, donations requested.

Location:

Myrtle Edwards Park, 3130 Alaskan Way W., Seattle.

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Getting there:

Myrtle Edwards Park is on the Seattle waterfront, just north of Pier 70 at Alaskan Way and Broad Street. From I-5 southbound or northbound, take the Mercer Street exit to Seattle Center, heading west on Broad Street to Alaskan Way. For bus information, call 206-553-3000 or see trip planner.metrokc.gov/.

More information:

206-781-5723 or www.hempfest.org.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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