By Dawn M. Schiaretti | Published in The Human Solution
It all started at 6am on Wednesday morning, August 17, 2011. I hopped on a bus at the Amtrak Train Station in Grover Beach, Ca. then transferred at the San Luis Obispo connection to a train into Emeryville, Ca.
Waiting for me was Big Mike, or Brownie Mike, in his 420 LIMO!
I met Mike on facebook and he invited me to go VIP to the 20th Anniversary of the Seattle Hempfest as part of Elvy Musikka’s entourage.
Mike is Elvy’s assistant, but more like her son.
Elvy is one of only four federally supplied medical marijuana smokers left on the government IND program. She receives 300 joints a month from Uncle Sam for glaucoma, a twelve a day average!
She has been receiving government supplied medical marijuana since October, 1988. Elvy is number three on the list and the first woman to get inducted in to this program.
Our departure time was midnight Thursday morning. It was me, Dan from Oaksterdam, and Byph.
The 420 LIMO is all that and a bag of chips. Stocked with everything a we would want such as an Xbox, Wi-Fi, bottled water, juices, and medicated brownies, which is a specialty of Mikes.
Let me tell you, Elvy Musikka is one amazing 72 year old woman.
We arrived in Seattle at 4 pm Thursday, August 18, 2011. Elvy’s entourage rolled out of the 420 LIMO and into the Edgewater Hotel.
Friday we listened to numerous stories of Hempfests from the past.
Dan from Oaksterdam was so cute, he bought so many gifts for his little boy, little girl and his wife. We stopped at each stage and watched speakers and listened to bands as well as met all the volunteers in each VIP area. This event is entirely put on with volunteers who work endlessly throughout the year.
Later that night we went to the VIP Party!
We were able to use Todd McCormick’s ticket plus a guest. Todd was supposed to go with us all in the limo but wasn’t able to make it at the last minute.
Mike gave up his spot so the four of us could go to the party with Elvy. It was our first Hempfest for all of us. We met so many dedicated activists.
The highlight for me, was listening to Elvy’s stories about going from state-to-state with Mike.
Another first time favorite was the medicated chocolate fountain. Let’s just say I was wearing that fountain at the end of the night!
Saturday Elvy had to speak on two different stages. At one point we ended up at the NORML booth and I got to talk to Russ Belville LIVE on his NORML program.
Around 3:30, Elvy and I walked back to the hotel to nap before heading back to the main stage to see the Kottonmouth Kings.
We were all backstage and I managed to walk under the stage and video tape a song from below! D-Loc, the singer, waved to me under the stage. Then I went around to the front of the stage and took lots of pics.
I was so excited I ran behind the stage to tell my friends when I hear a man tell me that I almost knocked him over!
I went up to him and apologized when I realized I just about knocked over Vivian McPeak, one of the founders of Seattle Hempfest and main organizer of the event. He does such an amazing job, what an activist!
After the KMK show Elvy wanted to the Space Needle to go have a drink and watch the sunset. Beautiful.
Sunday, Elvy had to speak on the main stage. Dan went Salmon fishing with a friend and I was sunburned bad and had blistered feet so I stayed in the room with room service and watched CNN project the fall of Gaddafi.
At about 2 pm I was smoking out on the balcony when I hear someone shout, “stop smoking, stop smoking, I see you!” I heard it again and looked up to see a heavy-set woman just after she had thrown a glass of water on me, and just in time for it to land right on my face! I can’t believe we are still so far away from people tolerating this plant.
Monday morning we woke and said goodbye to Seattle. We pulled up to Elvy’s home to drop off her assistant, Shanalea, and picked up a change of clothes so that Elvy could go visit a friend in the Bay Area.
Dan stayed in Seattle to pick his fantasy football league and flew home the following morning. We arrived at our destination Tuesday Morning, August 23, 2011 at 5:20 am.
After falling asleep for awhile on the train, Mike and Elvy drove me to the train station in the 420 Limo for my journey back to Happy Town. I hugged Mike and Elvy goodbye with Elvy thanking me again, and asked me to sign her book, a copy of Vivian McPeak’s 20th Anniversary of Seattle Hempfest book! I was truly honored.
I tell ya, my first time at the Seattle Hempfest… It didn’t suck.
Dawn Marie ~
Dawn Marie is a four year Cannabis and Hemp Activist who moved from New Jersey to California in March to continue her advocacy. She is a member of the Green Team, Women of the Ribbon and a proud supporter of the Human Solution, of which she was a representative of in Seattle, where another chapter is in the process of opening up.
Sam Sabzehzar is one of the Co-founders of Medical Marijuana 411. With a foundation of investigative and transactional research on botanicals delivered to the body’s endocannabinoid system, Mr. Sabzehzar has developed unparalleled expertise in the cannabis industry. Throughout, he has established rich relationships with diverse individuals and organizations including nonprofits focused on advocacy, public policy, and science.