Cannabis Festival-The Grandaddy of All Weed Fests
The Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival (“Festival”) is sometimes called the Madison Hempfest. Whatever you choose to call it, this fest has been held almost every year since 1971, and the reason it wasn’t held in 2020 was because of Covid-19.
It is a three-day event and it was last held, during the October 2-4 weekend, at the Library Mall, in Madison, Wisconsin.
It features concerts and various vendors. More importantly, it also has a multitude of speakers, from the following area:
- Cannabis Friendly Politicians
- Medical Marijuana Activists
- Marijuana Advocacy Organizations (i.e. Norml)
- Industrial Hemp Representatives
- and much more.
What You Can Expect
This article will cover the following:
- A brief background of Wisconsin’s current marijuana laws
- Introduce to the Festivals founder, Ben Masel
- Tell you why this, small, midwest
cannabisevent is so important.
As of October 2021,
Madison’s weed Festival is definitely needed if Wisconsin is ever going to get with modern society and legalize
cannabisfor all purposes.
Recreational and Medicinal Use
Since 2021 there have been numerous tries to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana for Wisconsin. Its main advocate is Democratic Senator, Melissa Agard-Sargent. Senator Agard has tried to pass some form of weed legalization since 2014.
Senator Agard’s proposed legislation would legalize both recreational and medical use of weed. Legal weed would be will be taxed and half of the tax revenue will go to invest in redevelopment for communities that have been traditionally hitting hardest by marijuana prohibition. However, as Wisconsin’s state legislator is republican controlled any attempts to pass any legalization statutes have failed.
Cracks In the Armor
As stated, weed is illegal in Wisconsin. However, in 2020, Madison, Wisconsin became the first city to legalize marijuana. Madison’s law allowed those 18 and up to possess up to 28 grams of weed. Also,
A Short History Of The Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival
The Festival is a 501 registered non-profit organization, has been around since 1971. According to Wikipedia, it is the oldest hemp/cannabis festival in the United States.
It started as smoke-in at Wisconsin’s state capitol rotunda. And, except in 2020, it has been held annually. In the 80s they started to include music and in the ’90s this festival started becoming quite popular.
The original purpose of this Festival was to promote marijuana legalization. However, like
Without Ben Masel there would likely not be a festival. Therefore, I felt it was important that included this brief biography of the Festival’s founding father Ben Masel. (1954-2011)
Masel could be described as a social justice prodigy as he was started protesting was so famous or infamous to some that before he turned 18 he was placed on President Nixon’s enemies list.
Masel is primarily known for his
Masel also ran for office as the Wisconsin Governor in 1990 And, like Gonzo journalist, Hunter Thompson, Masel ran for Dane County, Sherrif in 1992. He was unsuccessful in both campaigns.
Some of Masel’s, other, notable accomplishments are the following:
• Norml-Director of Wisconsin’s Norml Chapter
• Weedstock– Masel organized the Weedstock festival,
• Norml Lifetime Achievement Award-Received a lifetime achievement award, in 2011-“A Lifetime of Oustanding Work In Advancing the Cause Of Legalizing Marijuana”.
• Ben Masel Day– The Madison, Wisconsin, City Council, Declared April, 20th (420) as Ben Masel Day.
• Freedom Fighter- In August 2011, he was named the Freedom Fighter of the month by High Times magazine.
Weed may be legal in the city of Madison, Wisconsin. However,
A local vape shop, CBD dispensary, and the Northern and Southeast chapters of Norml are examples of 2021’s Hempfest sponsors.
It cannot be a festival without live music. So, in the 1980s, this Madison weed Festival offered live music. In 2021 the Festival had 12 bands scheduled. Some of the bands that played are listed below.
• Natty Nation
And ten other more mostly local bands appeared. If you want to explore any of the above bands, Click Here.
Most importantly, the three-day festival features numerous,
• Hemp Cultivation-Bill Hawkins has been an organic farmer for over 40 years, and he is now a hemp advocate and farmer for his home state of Nebraska. His goal is to promote hemp farming as a means to help uplift the Nebraska economy.
• Politicians-Several politicians known for advocating marijuana legalization have appeared. One of the most notable, is Wisconsin, State Rep Melissa Agard-Sargent. Sargent, multiple times has sponsored legislation that would legalize and tax weed both recreational and medicinally.
• Advocates-A range of
You might be wondering why I decided to write about Madison’s Marijuana Festival. After all, New York, Seattle, Boston, and even Oakland have a bigger
However, I decided it was important to write this post about Madison’s Wisconsin’s
The first reason is that Madison’s
I hope you found this article interesting and for more info on Madison’s festival and other festivals please follow the hyperlinks.