|Weekend Madison Festival Seeks To Raise Awareness|
Posted by FoM on October 02, 1999 at 07:10:15 PT|
The annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival will be held in Madison, Wisc. this Saturday.
Ben Masel, a local marijuana activist, said many activities are planned for the day, which begins at noon on Library Mall. Music, including performances by Biff 'N Blunt, Los Marijuanos and Smokin' With Superman, will continue until 10 p.m., according to Masel. A parade is set to start at Library Mall at 4 p.m. and proceed to the Capitol.
The event, which drew 7,000 to 8,000 people last year, will play an influential role in forcing local elected officials to notice how people feel about the legalization of marijuana, Masel said.
"It's time to get these 19th-century laws off the books before we hit the 21st century ... the plant should be available for medicinal and agricultural as well as personal use," Masel said.
He also said that the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival is one of the bigger events on campus.
"This is the first step in reclaiming our position as one of the top 10 party schools," Masel said.
Madison event coordinator Kelli Lamberty said that she does not foresee any problems arising from the Harvest Festival. She also said that there was a fairly low turnout last year, and there have been no recent disturbances at the festival. The city estimates 2,000 to 4,000 people will attend this year and, as with any event numbering over 1,000 attendees, the police department is aware of the need to ensure safety.
Dane County Sup. Echnaton Vedder, District 8, said he invited Dane County District Attorney Diane Nicks to speak at the festival.
"I think it's fair to say that our DA is concerned about the war on drugs, even if her opinion may be a little different from most of the people at the event," Vedder said. "We are in a position to show our DA that enough political capital exists on this issue for her to feel safe making the decision to not prosecute marijuana cases."
District Attorney Diane Nicks could not be reached for comment.
Drug Policy Foundation Of Wisconsin
The Great Midwest Marijauna Harvest Festival - 9/25/99