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Hemp, Hemp Hurray

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Apparently, even in this day of instant communication and endless information as close as a cell phone, there still are people who think hemp is the stalk and stems of a harvested marijuana plant.

In fact, hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant that has no psychoactive properties and that for much of its long history primarily has been used to make rope. It also can be used to make paper and clothing.

According to the North American Industrial Hemp Council website, hemp has been grown for industrial purposes for more than 12,000 years, U.S. founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, and the draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

"The country has really gone backward on hemp," said Arlene Falcon, owner of Tye-Dye Everything in Moscow, who has been coordinator of the hemp festival since 2006.

Falcon and other organizers of the 15th Annual Moscow Hemp Fest, which will take place Saturday in East City Park, hope visitors will walk away from the event with more accurate knowledge about both hemp and the issue of medical marijuana.

Idaho Sen. Tom Trail, who has so far been unsuccessful in his efforts to make industrial hemp production legal in Idaho, will be at Saturday's festival to give an update on Idaho House Bill 19, the medical marijuana legislation he has sponsored in the Idaho Legislature.

Other speakers will include emcee Steve Phun, a Seattle Hemp Fest activist, local medical marijuana activist Adam Assenberg, and several members of the Boise and Pullman chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

This year's festival also will include the northern Idaho launch of a signature drive for the Idaho Medical Choice Act, a petition that was drawn up by the Boise NORML chapter. Representatives from the organization will be on hand Saturday to help initiate the signature drive.

"The petition is something that sets (this year's festival) apart a little bit," Falcon said.

Petition sponsors have until April 2012 to collect 50,000 signatures to get the Idaho Medical Choice Act placed on the statewide ballot next year.

"We're hoping we'll get enough signatures to have an impact," Falcon said.

Falcon said Trail has been something of a "lone duck" in his efforts to get medicinal marijuana legalized in Idaho as it has been in more than 15 other states, including neighboring Washington and Montana.

"It's sad because it makes such financial and medical sense for people who are suffering," Falcon said.

The musical guests for this year's festival include the Simon Tucker Band from Lewiston, Brothers Bowlby and Buffalo Death Beam from Pullman, Grateful Live and the Turner Jones Connection from Moscow, Smokin Bill from Seattle and Not Quite Punk from Sandpoint.

"Smokin Bill used to come to the festival for years," Falcon said of the band that got its start in Moscow. "They're old-time hempsters."

The festival will wrap up with a performance by Bio Luminesce, a troupe of fire dancers and drummers from Sandpoint, and Kushi Tala, fire dancer hula hoopsters.

There will be 30 to 40 vendors from all over the region with many hemp-related items such as clothing, jewelry and food products.

For information, call Falcon at (208) 301-2289 or email tyedye@moscow.com.

On the Web:

Home - Compassionate Idaho

Tye Dye Everything - Home

North American Industrial Hemp Council

Alan Solan can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 235, or by email at asolan@dnews.com.

If you go

WHAT: 15th Annual Moscow Hemp Fest

WHEN: 10 a.m.-dusk, Saturday

WHERE: East City Park, Moscow

COST: Free

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: dnews.com
Author: Alan Solan
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Website: Hemp, hemp hurray
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