Portland's annual Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon advocates decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use. Founded in 2005 by the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, the festival takes place the weekend after Labor Day in September, and features food vendors, live music, guest speakers and information booths. This public event has always been free to attend.
According to Paul Stanford, founder and presenting sponsor of the event, "Hempstalk is about the many uses of agricultural hemp fiber, oil, protein, fuel and medicine. We are working to end adult cannabis prohibition, allow adults to grow their own and license the legal sale of psychoactive cannabis to adults. We believe that hemp will save the Earth's biosphere with the adoption of hemp seed for bio-diesel fuel, which will solve the energy and world hunger problems, and stop deforestation when hemp fiber is used for paper and building materials."
Hempstalk organizers believe the reason marijuana is illegal has very little to do with drugs, and is really about money and the continued centralization of economic and political control. Hemp seed oil is biodiesel, is three times more productive than any other seed oil crop, and will run any diesel engine today with no modification. Hemp oil is the reason the petrochemical industry made up the "reefer madness" myth. They renamed hemp, using racist propaganda, calling it marijuana, and lied to make it illegal. There is a truth that must be heard! This is what the Hempstalk Festival is all about.
In 2009, the Hempstalk Festival moved to Kelley Point Park, in the far Northwest corner of Portland, at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Willamette River. It is estimated that over 60,000 people attended the two-day event in 2013.
This yeare are moving back to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Over the years, Hempstalk has had a wide variety of musical performers on stage, like Native American political activist, poet and songwriter John Trudell and his band Bad Dog; Folk Uke, featuring Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, daughters of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie; the Herbivores; Rocker T; Human and the Human Revolution; Binghi and the Seventh Seal; State of Jefferson; Marquee; Pass Margo; Tim Pate and many more.
In addition to the musical acts featured, the event offers educational guest speaker panels to inform attendants about industrial hemp, the legal use of marijuana, and answer other questions attendees may have.
Hempstalk guest speakers have included THCF and CRRH Director and Author of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Paul Stanford, Oregon NORML Director Madeline Martinez, West Coast Leaf Producers Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris, Comedian and Writer Ngaio Bealum, Author Bill Drake, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, Dr. Phillip Leveque, Seattle Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak, and Hemp Pioneers Jack Herer and Don E. Wirtshafter.
Having a variety of speakers compliments the wide range of musical acts that take to the Hempstalk stage. They have been educational and informative, discussing the merits of Cannabis and Hemp on the main stage as well as in the Hemposium pavilion. It is our hope that the Hemposium will continue to evolve and grow, providing experts and information from doctors, lawyers and local business people working to promote Hemp and Cannabis.
With all of the entertainment and education that Hempstalk offers, there are also hundreds of food and goods vendors that contribute wonderful dishes and beautiful wares for purchase in the many vendor booths. There are so many that have joined the Hempstalk Festival vendor list, guests are sure to find a surprise around every corner.
Hempstalk would like to thank our supporters for all they have given to hemp and cannabis reform. This group of dedicated activists has given their efforts to spreading awareness about hemp and cannabis and working for policy reformation across the country and around the world. Please support every one of them in any way you can.
To everyone who has participated, volunteered, and helped make Hempstalk possible, we thank you and look forward to a fun and informative Hempstalk 2014!