This past weekend I spent the better part of each day covering the 20th annual Seattle Hempfest. The event, dubbed a protestival by organizers, attracts nearly a quarter-million people to the shores of Elliott Bay to call for marijuana legalization, hemp law reform and an end to current drug war policy.
Compared to many similar events around the state, Seattle Hempfest is practically a free-for-all. The small handful of visible police officers look the other way on marijuana and paraphernalia possession, as well as consumption of the drugs at the park. I didn’t see a single person get arrested or cited — but I certainly observed a lot of consumption. The most striking thing to me was the variety of people present.
Yes, true, the crowd probably had a median age of high school, but there were plenty of people who looked like they had a reason to call for reform. And of course, there were the people there for other reasons. These images continue my long-term photography project on medical marijuana in Washington State.
Thanks for looking!