Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Local News


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

February 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Hempfest sues Seattle over refusal to grant permits

Posted by Lynn Thompson

Organizers of the annual Hempfest celebration in Seattle are suing over the city's refusal to grant permits for what would be its 20th anniversary festival in August.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, says the city cited a construction project at Myrtle Edwards Park as the reason to deny the permits, even though the project hasn't yet been sent out to bid.

Hempfest, an annual two-day event dedicated to education and reform of marijuana laws, has been held at Myrtle Edwards Park on the Seattle waterfront for all but one of the past 19 years. It features concerts and speakers advocating decriminalization of marijuana use.

Vivian McPeak, the executive director of the all-volunteer festival, said organizers have been searching for an alternative venue in the city but haven't found one. The group approached the Seattle Center, and offered to hold the festival two weeks earlier, but no agreement could be reached.

"This was supposed to be the 20th anniversary. We had big acts, big name bands scheduled to come in here, and it's all falling apart. If you don't have a date, you don't have anything," McPeak said.

The lawsuit says city officials repeatedly canceled meetings and failed to act on the permit application within the required 60 days. Additionally, the suit says the city refused to adjust its planned construction project at Myrtle Edwards Park, even though the planning has been under way for five years.

The lawsuit calls the city's runwillingness to delay construction, or to stage the work to accomodate Hempfest, "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious."

Hempfest also sued the city in 2006 when construction of the Olympic Sculpture Park also threatened to close Myrtle Edwards Park. The city worked out an agreement that allowed festival organizers adequate space to stage the event. That lawsuit was withdrawn.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Recent entries

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Browse the archives

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

Contributors

Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.