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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Hempfest CEO John Davis, left, and Executive Director Vivian McPeak, right. Davis has financial ties to I-502 businesses which successfully lobbied the Washington Legislature to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. [Amy Radil/KUOW]
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Hempfest VP John Davis, left, and Executive Director Vivian McPeak, right. Davis has financial ties to I-502 businesses which successfully lobbied the Washington Legislature to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. McPeak refused to publicly oppose I-502, preferring to stay “neutral” while safe access went down in flames… on the altar of corporate profits
[Amy Radil/KUOW]

Brothers and sisters of the weed! Can you do me a favor this weekend?
Bear Witness!

Every time you see a social media post about Seattle Hempfest, can you just leave “Bummer about the patients!” in the comments, to remind folks — especially Vivian McPeak and John Davis of Hempfest — it’s not all about getting high?

Bummer about the patients!

Remember: Hempfest management threw medical cannabis patients, and safe access, under the bus in the name of corporate profits. Davis actually SUPPORTED I-502, and McPeak didn’t have the balls to oppose it — Vivian was “neutral” like some bullshit, spineless politician.

Davis, who has financial ties to I-502 businesses and supported SB-5052, ran Hempfest Core Group meetings like a tin horn dictator, according to one reliable source on the inside, telling patients they were engaging in “hate speech” and shutting them down whenever they mentioned that safe access to medical marijuana was being gravely imperiled by the implementation of legalization.

Back in 2012 when I tried to warn that I-502’s brand of “legalization” could be bad for Hempfest, and looked a whole lot like a Trojan Horse, McPeak groused that I was being too dramatic, being “alarmist” and bad for business.

At Seattle Hempfest 2012, the year of the I-502 vote, there were YES ON 502 banners on every large stage, and no corresponding NO ON 502 banners… apparently, Hempfest’s brand of “neutrality.” When I asked about this at the time, I was told that the “NO” camp “couldn’t afford” to have a banner on the stage… obviously, Hempfest didn’t feel “neutral” enough to donate space, and thus piss off their deep-pocketed I-502 sponsors.

Seattle Hempfest McWilliams Stage Director Steve Phun's response when told Hempfest may be shut down [Steve Sarich / Facebook]
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Seattle Hempfest McWilliams Stage Director Steve Phun’s response when told Hempfest may be shut down
[Steve Sarich / Facebook]

Patients today, in the state of Washington, have NO access to the medicinal dispensaries which had served them for years — those were all shut down July 1, yay “progress!” — and we are NOT allowed to hold our own farmers markets. “THANK YOU!”

Now, you can “like Hempfest” all you want. But that doesn’t change the fact that they threw medical marijuana patients under the bus in this state.

It doesn’t change the fact that safe access has been destroyed for thousands of sick people.

And it doesn’t change the fact that Hempfest management placed corporate profits over human lives.

“Their actions have negatively effected an estimated 150,000 patients in Washington State, most of whom have lost safe access to their medication… yes, the truth HURTS,” said patient advocate and activist Steve Sarich. “But it IS the truth and calling us ‘prohibitionists’ and blocking our free speech is hardly going to stop us!

“We’re the ones who had very little, but we were able to take care of our own medical needs — then they took THAT away,” Sarich said. “That’s a ‘WAR CRIME’ under the Geneva Conventions.

“No wonder they want to reinvent history,” Sarich said.

Let’s all remind them of reality with:

BUMMER ABOUT THE PATIENTS!

#BummerAboutThePatients

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