Hempfest a Low-Key Lobbying Event

Hempfest a Low-Key Lobbying Event
Posted by CN Staff on June 03, 2007 at 05:54:40 PT
By Gavin Off, The Columbus Dispatch 
Source: Columbus Dispatch
Ohio -- To legalize or not? That was the question at the rock 'n' roll-jamming, Hacky Sack-playing, tie-dye-wearing Hempfest on Ohio State University's South Oval yesterday. The 21st annual Ohio event kicked off at noon with 36 vendors, 30-plus bands, scores of dreadlocks and a lot of pro-marijuana talk. Zach Germaniuk, a 19-year-old OSU English major and president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, said he logged some 600 hours of work in preparation for the event.
"This is a monumental project," said a shirtless, long-haired Germaniuk. "We want to engage people in a discussion or debate about public policy."Germaniuk said the group wants the U.S. government to treat minor drug users like any other petty criminal: by simply fining them.There seemed to be little debating yesterday, however. Most festivalgoers seemed content throwing a Frisbee or buying souvenirs: a Bob Marley shirt or a hat with a marijuana leaf. Some lay on blankets in the grass, while others bought glass beads that could double as marijuana bongs. But the only smell in the air in the afternoon was incense, perhaps thanks to the occasional patrolling police officer. "I made it clear to everybody that this is a substance-free event," Germaniuk said. "However, I'm not a baby sitter and I'm not responsible for the activities of other festivalgoers."Twenty-year-old Tad Melton sat in the shade selling hemp jewelry he and his girlfriend made. The fibrous stem of the hemp plant can be made into rope and the leaves and flowers into marijuana. By 2 p.m. he'd made about $90, mostly by selling the braided bracelets. But Melton said he wasn't there for the money."It's just a reason to hang out for the day," he said. "People here are pretty laid-back. They're just here looking for peace."George LaMuth and friend Jack Parker sat in the grass under a sycamore tree eating Sun Chips and listening to a pro-marijuana, anti-government speaker. Parker's 4-month-old black lab, Banjo, was at his side. "It's everybody getting around, getting together," said LaMuth, who wore a red and yellow tie-dye shirt. "Even if you don't smoke weed, come down."Germaniuk estimated about 2,000 people, mostly OSU students, visited by early afternoon. The event was to end at midnight.Three years ago Hempfest almost came to an end. In 2004, OSU officials tried to cancel the event, saying organizers failed to follow university rules. A U.S. District Court judge, however, prohibited the cancellation. Germaniuk said university officials this year treated the organization like any other student group. Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)Author: Gavin Off, The Columbus Dispatch Published: Sunday, June 3, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Columbus DispatchContact: letters dispatch.comWebsite: SSDP Hemp Archives
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 05, 2007 at 07:45:08 PT
Canadian Hemp News
Canadian Hemp Milk Looks to Nourish US Dairy Alternative Market***June 5, 2007Canadian hemp manufacturer Manitoba Harvest is counting on its new hemp milk to bring further consumer awareness to the health benefits of a seed often associated with marijuana.URL:
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