Articles Tagged: HempFest

John Davis of Seattle Hempfest (VP) hates medical marijuana competition

August 6th, 2015 | By Pirate

It has long been known that the money driven spirit behind Seattle Hempfest, and the recent focus on corporate interests that Hempfest has been displaying is almost entirely in the heart and mind of one John Davis, the former CEO and current Vice President of Hempfest.

There has been a lot of changes in Washington as to how patients are able to medicate with cannabis, how much they can grow, how much they can buy, and where they can obtain it from.   This push started with the ACLU, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells, NORML and many Hempfest-centric people in 2010 when SB 5073 was being pushed in Washington.   Not only did those people reject the Sensible Washington proposal to free cannabis without the heavy burden of high taxation and heavy regulations.   Sensible Washington offered up two initiatives (I-1068 and I-1149), both either publicly rejected by the groups supporting and promoting SB 5073, or just flat out ignored.

Despite a lot of popularity in Washington, and gaining almost enough signatures to get on the ballot with only a shoe-string budget, both Sensible Washington initiatives failed to get on the ballot.

Yet those same people who rejected the idea of de-regulating cannabis, supported the heavily regulated proposals in SB 5073 and I-502.   The ACLU that wrote and organized the I-502 campaign via New Approach Washington, did in fact publicly oppose I-1149, and ignored and rejected I-1068.

So on to current news.  In 2013 John Davis heard of a viral media release by a young man named Brian Laoruangroch, who intended to roll “the worlds largest joint” at hempfest, with a plan to have everyone donate a legal amount, and claim it by attaching their name and information to the joint.   When John Davis heard of this, he had an internet exchange with Brian Laoruangroch, who was going by the moniker “Prohibition Brands” (a company that would be competing with John Davis’s company Diego Pellicer), and he in not so many words, threatened Brian.   I recorded the conversation and you can see it here.  When the event took place at Hempfest, many Hempfest Staff (with fake badges) pursued Mr. Laoruangroch throughout Hempfest threatening to have the police intervene, and warning Mr. Laoruangroch that he was “not allowed to commit a felony at hempfest”.  Mr. Laoruangroch asked the police that were present if “[he] was doing anything illegal”, and the police admitted on camera that they believed what he was doing was perfectly legal.   So Hempfest had him thrown out of the park, because they could not get him arrested for a felony.

Now fastforward to 2014-2015, and the second in command at Hemp Fest (John Davis) is now promoting two very negative laws that almost 100% of the MMJ patient community in Washington stand against, because of what it was projected to do to their rights as patients.  John Davis openly and very publicly supported I-502 and SB 5052, which in the end has ended dispensaries in Washington (because they were competing with recreational stores), lowered the amount of plants patients are allowed to grow, from 15 plants to 6 plants, and from 24 ounces of marijuana to 3 ounces.

In exchanges on Facebook between the CEO of Hempfest, and MMJ patients, Vivian McPeak constantly says that Hempfest and himself have not supported these restrictions on patients, or their rights.  But the facts above speak for themselves.

This is the response Vivian left publicly on facebook;

“So, the latest lies being spread (all by people who were not accepted to speak at HEMPFEST, could there be a connection?) is that HEMPFEST is working with the City of Seattle to “kill medical marijuana.” Let me set the record straight: First off, we helped pass I-692 in 1998 that legalized medical in this state (I personally gathered thousands of signatures). We organized two Lobby Days in Olympia during the last session to defend medical against 5052, & I personally met with several representatives to defend patients, in fact I am a patient myself. I was publicly against I-502, I voted against I-502 (even though it was inherently painful for me and in the end I think it is better for the national movement that it passed, warts and all, but that is for a different post), and anybody who listens to my radio shows on Cannabis Radio will see that I have been consistently railing against the attacks on medical and medical dispensaries. These “activists” who enjoy dividing our reform community using outright lies and fabrications are either jealous, mentally ill, sociopathic, or trying to eek out some attention for their pathetic and sad selves (or all of the above?). Both HEMPFEST and I personally have been getting repeated hate mail by rude, offensive people (half the time without any name) accusing us of destroying medical and being “backers” of I-502. All complete and total bald faced lies. Typical, the opposition does not come from the city or government, but from people who claim to be on the side of our community. Ironic, eh? SCREW ‘EM! Back to irregular deprogramming. An old Indian saying: “Let the dogs bark, the caravan will pass.””

And this is the words that contradict everything he says, by the VP of Hempfest John Davis.



Medical Marijuana as it stood in I-692 has been effective and strongly supported since 1998, for over 13 years it never had any problems, and certainly no one ever got hurt.  Now in the last few years, after they have started changing the game in Washington, a lot of people are getting hurt!
Hempfest wonders why people are upset?   I have been a supporter of Hempfest as long as I have supported I-692, but I will not support Hempfest any longer!

See my posts on hempfest from in the past;

Now again, I will assert that I feel cannabis needs to be COMPLETELY deregulated.  But if it has to be regulated, it needs as few regulations as possible.  What is going on now, is the opposite of that!

What Hempfest is doing is not playing fair via Free Market enterprise.  They are playing cronyism by using the government to weed out [pun intended] their competition.

John Davis VP of Hempfest

John Davis of Hempfest

John Davis of Seattle Hempfest

I hate censorship

September 1st, 2013 | By Pirate

I am not completely innocent here, I had to tell an activist in Spokane to leave our meeting and sober up before he came back back in 2011.  I have rarely censored anyone, but when I have I have felt terrible about it.

But I have been censored over and over by liberals who disagree with one thing or another.   Either when I protest abortion, taxes, or government force.   I almost always document these occasions with a screen shot so that I can’t be accused of being crass or rude, when I have been censored.  I feel I am very polite, even if in disagreement with some of the statements in a particular conversation.

There are two occasions in the past 5 years that I have felt badly about being censored.  Thinking to myself “wow, did that person really just delete all of my comments?”..   I get censored a lot, mostly by far left liberals, and the topics are usually pretty consistent.  But there have been these two times, and I documented them pretty well.

Recently with Jared Allaway when he once again strongly disagreed with me insisting that we defund the government via ending the Federal Reserve Act and the Income Tax Act, when he was complaining how the government keeps screwing up.

See more here:  Passive Aggressive Activism

The other time was when Steve Elliot came to my page to badger me about faith and Christianity.
I have saw similar rants like which Steve brought to me, at Hempfest so it inspired me to write this article;

Is militant atheism a sore spot for the legalization movement?

If I was to document every time I got censored, I could fill a week worth of blogging up every week.
But I am way too busy to worry about each little instance.   But when influential people, whether via political ambitions, or career ambitions censor people, while on the other hand complaining about how people censor them.  I just think there is something to say about that.

Recently watching what went down at Hempfest with the guy who wanted to roll “The World’s Largest Joint”, and how Hempfest censored him and several others.  That sort of broke my heart too, even though I wasn’t directly being censored.  I felt like through that person who I am not even directly connected, that my voice was in a way censored.
Because I love hempfest, and I have gone many times to hempfest and I have supported them in whatever ways that I could.   So I made a little bit of a fuss about that.  But I still love Hempfest.  I just think that staying silent about things like this does no one any good.

I wrote this blog about what happened at Hempfest last week;

Hempfest extinguishes free speech at hempfest due to corporate interests

Then there are the times when I have fought censorship when I expected as much.
In 2010 when I was protesting in  Springville Utah, I was arrested for “using the streets without a permit”.  A month later I got the law nullified (not before spending a grip on two different lawyers and going way out of my way to fight that tyranny).

The law that I got changed, in Springville City Utah

It’s the thing about activism that I have been most active about.   I have  not been nearly as active about cannabis as I have about free speech.  I understand that there are limitations to free speech, where maybe some restrictions or at least some common etiquette is necessary.  But then there are occasions when free speech should be honored and when it is not, it is not conductive to common respect and freedom.  That is when I protest!
This is a video that I made about this.   I read from Vivian McPeak’s book about free speech and protesting  and what Hempfest is all about.

I don’t get paid for activism, I do it because LIBERTY is my payment.


Hempfest_Protestival_0004 Hempfest_Protestival_0004_smallFrom Vivian McPeak’s book “Protestival”.



Brett Hamil Puff Puff Pass the blame for shitty laws #bretthamil #hempfest

August 6th, 2013 | By Pirate

This is my response to Brett Hamil about I-502 and Hempfest.  >
Brett Hamil obviously doesn’t know shit about the law, or legalization, or the vested interests behind I-502.

1. Brett says I-502 legalized cannabis.  That is not true.  Cannabis is still a Schedule One Drug on a State and Federal level.

In Section 10(a) of I-502, the law concedes to comply with all federal laws.   So if cannabis is a schedule one drug on a state and a federal level, then there are no tenth Amendment protections, because in order to receive 10th Amendment protections, state law must be complied with.  If someone is breaking both state and federal law, they receive no 10th Amendment protections.


section 10(a)>

“(a) Federal laws relating to marijuana that are applicable within
Washington state;”

Ref to Schedule one:

I-502 specifically acknowledges the Federal jurisdiction, and submits to it.
Therefore a store opening with the permission of the LCB is unplausible.
The state can’t put state employees in jeopardy of violating federal law, especially with the specific acknowledgement of federal cooperation all throughout I-502.
If the Federal Government was to remove cannabis from the Federal CSA, or if the federal government lost jurisdiction via the commerce clause of the constitution by nullification of the commerce clause, then I-502 would possibly have more legal standing, though Washington state would also have to remove cannabis from the Washington State Uniform Controlled Substances Act as well. ( )



If cannabis is legal in Washington, why is it still a schedule one drug?

If cannabis is legal in Washington, why is it still a schedule one drug?

2.  Brett mocks the opposition to I-502 in the cannabis community for opposing legalization, while praising the ACLU for supporting I-502.   The gap that he leaves out is that the ACLU has not once supported a legalization initiative in Washington for over 75 years, and the two times previous to I-502 (faux legalization), they openly and publicly opposed it.  Similar to Peter Holmes.

Reference to the ACLU opposing truly ending prohibition:


Reference to Peter Holmes opposing truly ending prohibition:

Without a Clue  ACLU

Without a Clue ACLU

3.  Brett gives motivations as to why people in the cannabis community would oppose legalization, citing selfish industry ambitions.  However I give the same reasons why attorney’s would oppose I-1149 and I-1068 but would support a pseudo-prohibition instead like I-502.   Lawyers make money off defending people from cannabis charges.  They would not want something like I-1149 to pass, because all I-1149 did was remove penalties.  It did not add any new penalties, and it did not consent to federal laws, nor did it violate any federal laws like I-502 does.  Since I-502 leave cannabis as a schedule one on a state level, and since I-502 (section 10a) concedes to federal authority (giving up 10th amendment protections) I-502 would be much more beneficial to the careers of lawyer who are members of the ACLU, much more than something like I-1068 or I-1149 would.  I-502 added new penalties, while not even truly removing old penalties.  I-1149 just removed old penalties.   But the ACLU opposed I-1149 and I-1068.   Why doesn’t Brett address that topic?

4.  Brett cites the irrational fear of people, citing that I-502 has not caused drugged driving arrests to go up.
As I cited in the video, the negative consequences of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act took years to show up.
The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act was presented as a way to legitimize and tax cannabis crops.  In the end, it created the first cannabis prohibition on a federal level.   So just like I-502, the 1937 version was presented as a positive bureaucracy, but it ended up being prohibition in disguise, just like I-502.

5.  Brett claims that people opposed I-502 because of the potential that it would increase prices based on the 90%+ tax rates it would impose on cannabis.   He said that we do not know if that will happen, because the tax doesn’t start until November 2013.   However, based on the scheduling of cannabis on a state and federal level, I contest that there will be no “legal stores” based on current law under I-502.   But these tax structures have cause medical cannabis to be jeopardized with increased taxes and regulation, as it has been proposed that the Liquor Control Board now takes control over medical cannabis.


New WA Legislation Would Put Medical Marijuana Industry In the Hands of the Liquor Control Board

Ref to Comparing I-502 to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937:

In the end, I think it’s disgusting how ill educated many of these pro-I502 pundits are.  People like Russ Belville and Dominick Holden seem to be educated but blindly supporting bad law.  I don’t know exactly why, other than Russ Belville for example was getting a salary from NORML (pot-lawyers) of over $30,000 per year at the time.  I don’t know if that is why, or if Russ is just a suckup to people with power.   Maybe a little bit of both.   But clearly I-502 is bad law.  NORML did very little to support previous legalization efforts in Washington, and the ACLU flat out opposed other legalization efforts.   For Brett Hamil to not criticize these groups for opposing legalization in the past, but to lay heavy responsibility and guilt on hempfest, is irresponsible and hypocritical.


If you are interested in REAL LEGALIZATION in Washington State, see this link:


Why I will not attend Hempfest #hempfest

August 4th, 2013 | By Pirate

This is a post that I wrote on facebook a few minutes ago, and rather than posting it directly to facebook, it is a message that I want other to see as well so I am posting it on my website.

For your reference (incase you commented on a post that I made last night about Hempfest, this is for you), I was asked to take down my post about Hempfest this morning, by a person who’s picture I shared when I said what I had to say.
I don’t believe in censorship, and I usually don’t take down posts.  But apparently my words caused this person problems, and that was not my intent.  I shouldn’t have shared her picture to say what I had to say about HempFest being boring.

So let me say it again.  There are WAY too many liberals, and party-hardy types speaking at hempfest, and far too little conservatives, and non-party-hardy types.

That is not to say that conservatives don’t support ending prohibition.  In fact they do, and they have for far longer than liberals have from my estimation.
Ron Paul has championed ending prohibition for nearly 40 years, and he doesn’t even consume cannabis.  There were two prominent republican presidential candidates last election pushing for the end of prohibition (one a former governor, and the other a long standing congressman), and in fact no democrat presidential candidates pushing for ending prohibition.   Peter McWilliams, another conservative and libertarian type pushed for ending prohibition.   Many many conservatives push for ending prohibition.  However, you will not hear ANY of them speaking at HempFest this year.  And for that reason, I protest and I won’t be going to HempFest in the future, spending nearly $300 on a booth so that I can keep my young children out of the sun.  Or dropping donations in the donation bin.  Or spending hundreds and some times even thousands of dollars on goods at HempFest.  Rather, I will attend benefits for people (conservative type people) like Adam Kokesh who believes in liberty, and ending prohibition, and who is locked up without bail right now.  Or people like Buju Banton who has also been kidnapped and locked up.   So many people out there need our help, and therefore I will not party-down at places like HempFest until all of our brothers and sisters are free!  And then, maybe then I will party again.  Maybe then I will celebrate.  But not until then!

For reference:

This is the $300 booth that we paid for at HempFest 2009:

This is the video of my daughter and I at HempFest 2008:

This is the banner we made that was posted at Hempfest 2012:


xCannabis at HempFest  blanket #24 by Hempsterdam

xCannabis at HempFest blanket #24 by Hempsterdam (2009)


We’ll miss you HempFest!   Please find some balance to the force in the meantime!

Who is Peter McWilliams?

July 1st, 2013 | By Pirate

Who is Peter McWilliams?

Who is Peter McWilliams? Ask our friend Julia — X Cannabis – Freedom Can’t Exist If Nature is Illegal

Learn more about Peter McWilliams at these two links;


Time for a change, Reverend Ryan quit smoking weed

February 18th, 2013 | By Pirate

It’s not that I have anything against cannabis.  It’s not that I plan on permanently quitting using cannabis.
But right now I am feeling fine.   I use cannabis primarily for headache relief, as well as stress relief.
I still have a valid medical marijuana recommend.   But I have been feeling fine lately.  Fine enough that I don’t need cannabis any longer at this point.  I do still very much like cannabis.   But between the expense, and some of the side effects of cannabis (such as short term memory issues and concentration), and the fact that I am actively taking pilot lessons I have decided to take a break.


Right now my family is learning Gaelic (via RosettaStone, GREAT software), and I am going back to school.  So memory retention is very necessary right now.

That is not to say that people can not do well on cannabis.  Because they certainly can.  I passed many of difficult tests while using cannabis.  My wife was a straight A student all throughout school, and got an academic scholarship to Westminster in Utah, and during her highschool years, she was stoned every day all day.

But this is a bit different.  I will be piloting a plane.  I will be taking off and landing at potentially busy airports during my training.   So this is a much more serious situation than taking a math test in high school.


As I said, I am still a fan of cannabis in society.  I still believe that cannabis is mostly harmless.   I am still a supporter and activist for legalization.   But the difference is, that I am going back to a point where I was 10-12 years ago, where I am back in school and I am trying to get the biggest bang for my buck with learning (both piloting and the Gaelic language).

I wanted to mention incase my time on this blog become more and more limited, which I suspect that it will.
However, PLEASE support Hempfest, and please consider sending good vibes to Vivian McPeak who is having a difficult time right now.   Vivian is a living legend and the founder of Hempfest.  He just had his car stolen (mind you a very special car).   Look Vivian up on facebook to see the car, and to find out how you can help.
I just bought Vivian’s book “Protestival”.  AWESOME book, with a DVD and an amazingly professional publishing.   Good work!  (see the book features in my video above)

One more note, is that I will be neglecting  too for awhile.  But please check the archives if you are interested in past shows.  I will probably be updating my youtube from time to time at:

I had planned on showing off some of the shirts that I ordered from Jared Allaway, but they haven’t shown up yet.  Please also check out Jared Allaway on facebook to see his shirt campaign.  AWESOMENESS!

Peace, Pot and Liberty!!

Seasons Greetings December 18th Lots of updates

December 18th, 2012 | By Pirate

Warmest greetings.
Ive been terribly sick with a cold.  I am feeling a lot better now.  But the symptoms including a massive headache were terrible.  I made this video after I got off work this morning.

It was kind of a quicky, and I didn’t mention everything that I had intended to say.  But if you have a minute, please listen in.

Have a seat, grab a cup of hot cocoa, pack a bowl, kick back.

I love what the pseudo name for 2013?s Hempfest is  “No Federal Schedule”.

Below are the links that I referenced in the video, and a copy of the letter that I am sending to Ron Paul’s camp via his website and postal mail.

Megadeth 502 (song)

HR 2306

Marihuana Tax Act 2012 facebook page

Letter to Ron Paul on December 18th 2012

Dear Dr. Ron Paul,    I wont take much of your time sir.  First let me thank you for your diligent and steadfast service to this country, for your selfless example as a role model for young freedom lovers who want to make a difference, and for keeping your word.  Honesty is so rare in the world.     Many of my subscribers to my small blog

love your work very much, and  have been your supporters, I include myself in that as well.        I watched your 1988 speech to NORML and your appearance on the Morton Downey show and you were solid and so very educational.  In fact as you well know, you were ahead of your time.    Sir, let me please beg of you to leave an impression on the crowd at Hempfest.  Give them something to think about from a political philosophy that they are not often presented with.      Our family are not well to do, but we are happy to be working and to have a little extra every pay check, and we have set aside some money to pitch in for your expenses.   I realize that you are not taking a congressional pension, and have been very lean on what you do allow for reimbursement of your time and energy.  So we as liberty loving and like minded individuals, and as regular attendees of hempfest, we would like to pay for some of your expense.  I know we can contribute $500 to this purpose.  But there are some emails and youtube videos currently going around asking others to write to your campaign via

and to pledge their support as well.    Sir I am desperately aware that there will never be another you in our world affecting change in the way you have been so successful at doing.  Really good change, back to our constitution.  Thank you for that!  Please give us a 5 or 10 minute (or longer) presentation on why liberty is important in cannabis law reform.   My personal contact information is:Ryan Thompson

Phone:  888-694-8737  ext. 707


Alturas, CA USA

P.S.  The cannabit/cannagram economy is working fine.  The drawings are not taking place currently, but everything else works!  The earnings work, and the store works and has inventory!

The Short URL of this blog posting is

HempFest 2012 Protesteval

August 22nd, 2012 | By Pirate

There was a lot of emotion at Hempfest this year.  There are several initiatives that were collecting signatures, there was also two camps that were there to represent for one side or the other on I-502.  In fact that was pretty much the main topic this year.
But aside from all of the politics, it was an oasis for nearly 300,000 attendees who were there to support the cannabis culture as they have for 21 years!

I was sad that we couldn’t be there.  We celebrated our sons first birthday and we had business to take care of here in Northern California.  Plus we are caring for my 90 year old grandmother and she would not have faired well in the heat.

But I was encouraged to watch a King5 news report to see a sign that we made hung proudly at hempfest.  We got the idea for the sign from a picture that I found on facebook some months ago.  It said  “Freedom Can’t Exist If Nature Is Illegal” and we attached two cannabis liberty symbols with the message “Don’t Tread On Me” below the statue of Liberty and a cannabis leaf, that Kimi designed in 2011 for Don Skakie.  We donated these signs to Jared Allaway to use for whatever legalization event that may be happening, and we were elated that they were used at HempFest!!!  Thanks Jared!

It made me feel like I was their in proxy, and it also made me miss our HempFest family.
We will not be missing next year!

Here is the photo and the article of where I found it.   Made me smile ear to ear to see this!




The Great I-502 debate at HempFest 2012

August 19th, 2012 | By Pirate

This is the great debate about I-502 at HempFest 2012.   It was in fact one of the best debates that I have ever heard.
I could have done without having to hear Steve Elliot, he has been so divisive and crass and in my opinion has hurt this movement extremely.  I feel similarly about Keith Stroup when he points out how Republicans are against legalization, and yet says nothing about the democrats opposing legalization (and many do, including the president which he did mention).   He mentioned Barney Frank’s efforts, and yet fails to mention Ron Paul, even though Ron Paul has graced NORML several times with interviews and speaking engagements many times for 30 YEARS!.  Alison Holcomb is obviously very divisive, just a few days ago she dismissed the no-on-I-502 people as “being swayed by industry interests” and yet mentions nothing about how her and her colleagues have never ever supported a REAL legalization initiative even though there have been many to choose from, and some that even got HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of signatures.  Her and her colleagues have vested interests in introducing NEW driving penalties, because their main source of income is defending people against criminal penalties.   So I believe that the 75 years that the ACLU has stayed silent on this issue, is absolutely so loud it is deafening.  This shows me a last ditch effort of profiteering lawyers and LEO who want to keep some form of prohibition active despite the changing tides of the political climate.  Like I said, NAW watched Sensible Washington get hundreds of thousands of signature for REAL legalization, and yet they did nothing, and lent NO SUPPORT what so ever.

I was most impressed with Kari Boiter who made a wonderful initial speech.  She noted the probable cause issue, which in fact is not addressed in this initiative and rather gives a new avenue for police that is referred to as reasonable cause.
Cops often abuse their “probable cause” guidelines by claiming one thing or another, or by initiating a drug dog to do a false alert.  Watch what Barry Cooper (former narcotics agent) says about that.  Police have NO PROBLEM getting probable cause, even if none exist.  This happens ALL THE TIME!
Kari did a great job debunking these lawyer claims that are completely swayed to their own financial and career interests.

The main question is WHY?  Why this NEW duid provision, two other initiatives in this country has made the ballot this year WITHOUT introducing NEW penalties.


Personal insults helping legalization?

August 17th, 2012 | By Pirate

In recent months a lot of personal insults have been launched at the people opposed to I-502. I weighed in at Radical Russ’s blog where he was chastising Steve Elliot (“Tool of the Town” as Russ has coined him) for calling out Marc Emery and Jodie Emery for betraying the cannabis community.

Russ said:

“Yes, I am dismissing Ed Rosenthal and anyone else who is scaremongering about I-502. But I am not the one dissing or demonizing. I disagree with everyone who is involved with Hempfest who is against I-502. But I don’t call them “clueless Canadian prisoners in Mississippi”, “celebrity trophy wife”, or insinuate that their contrary opinion is due to some extortion or conspiracy. In fact, I still consider Viv, Douglas, and many others my friends and allies. Sometimes friends and allies still disagree.”

This was my reply to Russ, it is still “pending” at his blog. So I am also posting it on here incase it doesn’t get approved.

“Russ you may not be calling names now (and BTW- I am not fond of Steve Elliot). But don’t you remember the repeated attacks and name calling that you launched at Roger Christie? What about the Prop19 fights? You had a lot of derogatory things to say about cannabis activists then and now. You didn’t stoop completely down to Steve Elliots level, but what you have done on many occassions has hurt and divided the movement. As has what Marc Emery said a few months ago about Washington activists who oppose I502. What has name calling and personal insults accomplished?”

Ganja Jon (Jon Hamm) who is a co-host of Russ Belville starting threatening me in a recent conversation as well.

So don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house is my advice.