Last weekend was Seattle Hempfest, and we had a fantastic time. It was our first time boondocking away from the farm in Vancouver. We weren’t quite as prepared as we thought, but we learned some things and we’ll be better prepared next time. And we had a blast!
We were lucky enough to be able to park in a closed off area with honey buckets and security personnel, so we didn’t have to worry about using a camp toilet or having someone break into the van when we weren’t there. We even had access to one of those portable hand-washing stations. It was pretty awesome. Maybe even awesome enough to make up for the fact that the lot was at the opposite end of the park from the booth where Safe T was able to sell his wares.
We got to Hempfest during the last minutes they would let vendors drive in to unload. It was cloudy and cool. We found the booth, listened to a panel discussion that included Dr. Sue Sisley, and walked around a bit. The wind started to pick up and one 10×10 canopy took off like a kite. We started thinking it might rain, so we headed back to the van, with many stops to greet friends we hadn’t seen in a long, long time.
The rain started pouring and we got soaked. We hung out in the van, eating snacks and playing, then napped until the rain stopped. We didn’t go back into the park that evening, because we realized we hadn’t packed enough in the way of warm clothes. Instead of bringing the whole clothes tote, we only brought what we thought we’d need, which turned out to not be enough. Lesson learned.
We were able to cook dinner at the van, and in the morning I made pancakes. We even had enough to share with a few friends. We spent Saturday visiting all the booths. We watched a couple guys in a roped-off area doing frisbee tricks, and I got to spin a trick frisbee on my finger. Shelby got her face painted. I got my face painted. We scored some free samples of jerky, and Shelby got an inflatable ball and stickers and lots of stuff, as usual.
We ate vendor food Saturday night, and we realized all of our dishes were dirty. We’d neglected to completely fill our big water jug before we left the farm, so we didn’t really have enough water to drink and do dishes. We’ve gotten used to having running water and using electricity to heat the wash water. We’ll have to figure out the best way to do dishes when we’re boondocking, and we’ll have to remember to fill the water jug every chance we get. Another lesson learned.
Sunday was hot. We were lucky enough to get a ride on a cart almost all the way through the park. Shelby and I hung out behind the booth most of the day. We made it to the main stage to catch a few songs. We watched some people dancing, which inspired Shelby to get her groove on, too. But mostly we hung out and visited with friends.
I learned a lot over the weekend. I learned about twenty22many and Dr. Sue Sisley‘s attempts to conduct a triple-blind study about cannabis and veterans with PTSD. I heard her talk about how she’s been trying to get this study started for several years now, and now she’s waiting for cannabis from NIDA, which is the only source a scientist can use when the study involves cannabis. So scientists have to wait and end up getting product that is subpar, even though local growers could grow superior product in less time. Meanwhile, 22 veterans suffering from PTSD are committing suicide every day.
I listened to a lot of people speak about how despite steps taken by congress to stop federal prosecution of medical cannabis users in states that allow medical cannabis, it’s still happening. I listened to people speak about the differences between “decriminalization,” which is what has happened here in Washington, and “legalization.” I listened to people speak about how patients that need cannabis in specific strains that don’t cause a typical “high” or that need non-smokable forms (such as suppositories) won’t get their needs met in a recreational store. What recreational user is going to want a suppository?
A lot has changed, a lot is changing, and even more change needs to happen.