Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2010
Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID)
Copyright: 2010 Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Author: Alan Solan


Make no mistake about it, the Moscow Hemp Fest still is  very much
about food, music, buying cool stuff and  having fun.

But the event, which will celebrate its 14th year  Saturday at East
City Park, now is becoming more  political as well.

"We've put the activist aspect back into it, and I'm  happy about
that," said Arlene Falcon, a Moscow  business owner who has organized
Moscow Hemp Fest since  2006.

For years, the educational and political focus of the  Moscow festival
and other hemp festivals has been on  industrial hemp. However, as
states continue to  legalize the use of medical marijuana - 14 so far
- -  that topic now is becoming a major part of the  educational
component of the festivals.

"Hemp and medical marijuana are completely different  issues, and
they're both illegal in this state," Falcon  said Monday in an
interview at her clothing and gift  shop, Tye-Dye Everything.

Idaho Rep. Tom Trail, who has spent many years fighting  for the
legalization and use of industrial hemp, now is  preparing to
introduce a bill in the Idaho Legislature  that would legalize the use
of marijuana for patients  with chronic diseases such as Lou Gehrig's
disease,  muscular dystrophy, AIDS, cancer and glaucoma.

Trail, a Republican from Moscow, is scheduled to speak  at 1 p.m.
Saturday at Hemp Fest.

"Tom Trail has been an advocate of industrial hemp for  a long time,"
Falcon said. "He hasn't gotten a lot of  support for it over the years."

She said when Trail attended previous festivals to  speak about his
efforts in regard to industrial hemp,  he heard other speakers talking
about medical  marijuana.

"It opened his ears to what was happening with medical  marijuana,"
Falcon said.

The proposed medical marijuana legislation would be the  most
restrictive in the country, according to a  statement released by
Trail's office.

The bill is modeled on New Jersey's medical marijuana  law, which was
signed on January 18, by then-Gov. Jon  Corzine, making New Jersey the
14th state to allow the  medicinal use of marijuana.

In California, New Mexico, Maine, Colorado, New Jersey  and Rhode
Island, patients obtain medical marijuana  through state-run
dispensaries. Eight other states,  Washington, Oregon, Montana,
Nevada, Michigan, Alaska,  Vermont and Hawaii, have decriminalized
medical  marijuana.

According to the statement from Trail's office, under  the proposed
law, medical marijuana patients would not  be allowed to grow their
own marijuana or to smoke it  in public. Patients would be limited to
two ounces per  month, which would be obtained from state-monitored

Trail said he was approached by several constituents  who suffered
from chronic health conditions, and he has  spoken to a number of
physicians who support such  legislation.

"It's limiting, but it addresses the issue of medical  marijuana,"
Falcon said.

Trail intends to have a series of town meetings on the  topic over the
summer and introduce the bill in the  next legislative session.

Other scheduled speakers at Saturday's event include  emcee Steve
Phun, a Seattle Hemp Fest activist, Adam  Assenberg, a local activist
and radio host of KRFP's  "Marijuana, Fact or Fiction" radio program,
as well as  several members of the newly formed Southern Idaho
Cannabis Coalition based in Boise.

The musical guests this year include the John Treasure  Band, Corn
Mash, Grateful Live, Groove Patrol and the  Simon Tucker Band.

At dark, the festival will close with a performance by  Bio-Luminesce,
a fire-dancing and drumming troupe from  Sandpoint.

The festival will have 30-40 vendors from all over the  region with
many hemp-related items such as clothing,  as well as jewelry, art,
food and other items for sale.

This year's celebration will include an art  installation made of more
than 900 discarded Bic  lighters that were found in the region over
the past  three years.

For information, call Falcon at (208) 301-2289.

If you go

WHAT: 14th Annual Hemp Fest

WHEN: 10 a.m.-dark, Saturday

WHERE: East City Park, Moscow

COST: Free 
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D