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    Posted August 15, 2014 by
    seattle, Washington

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    Seattle Hempfest 2014 Introduces 21+ Marijuana Lounges

    It is the third weekend of August 2014 and this is the 23nd Annual Seattle Hempfest.

    Seattle Hempfest is the largest annual marijuana festival in the world, and the largest event in Seattle, WA. Every year Seattle Hempfest draws massive crowds for a weekend of marijuana education, entertainment, and celebration.

    With Washington State’s passage of Initiative 502 in 2012, Seattle has been the world’s focal point of how legalization can work in the United States. Cities and citizens in Washington can now enjoy legal marijuana stores for recreational use.

    Although marijuana has been legalized in Washington, Seattle Hempfest still strives to educate the public on the marijuana plant and its use. This year, Seattle Hempfest’s theme is “Time, Place, and Manner” to highlight the importance of responsible use of marijuana. While it is now legal to purchase, possess, and consume marijuana, it is not legal to use marijuana in public places, drive intoxicated, and give to people under 21.

    To promote appropriate marijuana use, Seattle Hempfest is starting a pilot program to include 21 and over lounges for adults to use marijuana out of public view and without citation. The lounges are aimed at reducing youth exposure to marijuana and providing cool spaces for education, refreshment and ambiance inside the festival. The lounges are intended to be the first step in having legal marijuana areas in public events throughout Washington.

    And while I-502 greatly decriminalized cannabis in Washington State making it state legal to possess 28 grams or less, 29 grams is still a misdemeanor, and 40 grams remains a felony. In addition, any amount of cannabis remains against federal law.

    As Seattle Hempfest celebrates Washington’s legalization of marijuana, Hempfest is reminding the public on the importance of responsible use and how there is still a long way to go. Across America and even in Washington State, there are still citizens being persecuted under marijuana laws. So this year, Hempfest stands to educate the public that the gains made in Washington are reasons to set up national legalization efforts, and not abandon them.

    This is Bonnie Fong reporting from Seattle Hempfest 2014.
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