Seattle, Washington _ Thousands of marijuana fans openly celebrated their love of cannabis at a Saturday festival, despite a recent ruling by the nation's highest court backing federal law making pot illegal.
The crowd of revellers that strolled, snacked, socialised and smoked their way through Hempfest in the northwestern US city of Seattle tallied approximately 75,000 people by sundown, according to organisers. Many festival attendees wandered the downtown park toking marijuana cigarettes in the summer heat.
Seattle police safeguarded the cannabis aficionados, not bothering to enforce local pot laws that make recreational marijuana smoking the city's lowest crime priority.
Hempfest is political in nature and protected by free-speech provisions of the Constitution, regardless of federal marijuana laws, concluded Sergeant Lou Eagle, who headed the police detail at the event.
``We are there simply to protect a large group of people from others' misbehaving,'' Sgt Eagle said. ``We are not out there to enforce the marijuana laws.''
Police only arrest pot smokers if they puff in an officer's face and ignore warnings to stop, Sgt Eagle said.
Why is this article on the Seattle Hempfest coming out of Thailand where the US DEA trains Thai soldiers to engage in the wholesale slaughter in the streets of suspected drug users?
Human Rights Abuses and the War on Drugs in Thailand
The citizens of Washington State serve as an inspiration to the rest of the nation in that they have courageously stood up and overthrown the oppressive yoke of the Drug Warriors. The DEA, refusing to admit it's own defeat,is attempting to portray the Washingtonian's victory as evidence of the benign nature of the Drug War.
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs US State Department