Seattle: Christmas Day Vigil For Prisoners Of The Drug War


Photo: Seattle Hempfest
Christmas Day Vigil For Prisoners of the Drug War: Here’s the group from 2008. Be there this year, Dec. 25 from noon until 2 p.m.!

‚ÄčA Christmas Day vigil to honor and show support for Americans arrested for marijuana and non-violent drug use, and to oppose America’s cannabis and drug laws, will be held in Seattle from noon to 2 p.m. December 25.

Seattle Hempfest and the November Coalition invite “anyone with a peaceful nature” to join the vigil at the King County Jail to stand against America’s marijuana laws and show solidarity with those unjustly incarcerated.
“We will be respectful and we will increase the peace with our presence,” said organizer Vivian McPeak of Seattle Hempfest.
Vigil attendees are expected to be polite, non-confrontational and not to block access to any thoroughfare at any time, according to McPeak.

Every Christmas Day since 2000, local members of Seattle Hempfest and the November Coalition have quietly held the vigil outside the county jail. Millions of Americans who have served, or are serving time for non-violent drug charges (the vast majority of whom are incarcerated for simple marijuana crimes) will be recognized.
“For the first time in decades, there is a national discussion taking place about America’s draconian pot laws,” McPeak said. “Our failing economy has prompted many to reexamine both the social and financial cost of criminal penalties for marijuana, and awareness about medical marijuana and industrial hemp is growing rapidly.”
Still, there are more Americans sent to jails and prisons annually in the United States for marijuana than for the crimes of rape, murder, robbery and assault combined.
“Americans are routinely denied custody rights of their children based upon casual marijuana use,” McPeak said. “Those convicted of pot crimes regularly have their assets seized, become branded with a felony conviction, and must live the rest of their lives marked as criminals.”
Who: Seattle Hempfest and the November Coalition
What: Christmas Day Vigil for Prisoners of the Drug War
When: Dec. 25, 2009, 12 Noon to 2 p.m.
Where: King County Jail, 5th Avenue and James Street, Seattle, WA
Why: To oppose America’s cannabis and drug laws, and to show support for Americans incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes.