At noon on Saturday, April 15, the Boise Hempfest countdown clock will reach zero, and Idahoans will brave the fiercest anti-pot laws in the country as they gather to celebrate cannabis.
The Boise Hempfest is a one-day event held at the city’s spacious Julia Davis Park. Open to the public and totally free, the hempfest offers entertainment, speakers, and vendors. But the festivities go beyond celebrating cannabis culture and chilling with like-minded individuals. The Boise Hempfest has one ultimate goal. And that goal is to educate.
“A Cannabis Education Event”
Idaho’s April 15 celebration is making education the focus and mission of this year’s Boise Hempfest. But they’re taking a new approach. In addition to the more conventional lineup of speakers advocating on behalf of marijuana, the entertainers are also throwing their voices behind reforming Idaho’s draconian marijuana laws.
One of the headliners at this year’s Boise Hempfest calls himself Chief Greenbud. A singer/songwriter, Chief Greenbud is a local country music icon. With hits like “The Legalization Song,” “It’s Only A Weed,” and “iBake,” Greenbud is one of the most highly anticipated acts of the hempfest.
In his own tongue-and-cheek drawl, Chief Greenbud isn’t just singing about his love of cannabis. He intones stories about his own encounters with law enforcement and how they busted him for petty possession.
He also knows his facts when it comes to cannabis. Greenbud’s lyrics are chock full of statistics and information. Whether he’s “spoutin’ off about” the failure of the War on Drugs, the rise in mass incarceration, and even the lawmaking process itself, listeners of Greenbud’s jams are bound to learn a lot about the state of cannabis in Idaho.
Resisting Idaho’s Insane Pot Laws
The Boise Hempfest is celebrating weed despite Idaho’s insane pot laws. The state bests all others when it comes to harsh marijuana laws.
Weed has not been decriminalized in Idaho. There are no official medical cannabis programs or even approved conditions. It’s a hard “No!” across the board.
Additionally, if authorities catch you possessing even just 3 ounces of weed, you’re looking at a maximum jail sentence of 5 years and a $10,000 fine. In fact, all kinds of tiny pot infractions can land you with serious jail time and fines. You’ll get a year in jail for having a pipe on you. Are you a glass artist who enjoys making bongs? Well if they catch you, you can face 9 years in prison.
And the list goes on and on. Grow, possess, sell, associate. All of it will land you in serious legal hot water. Perhaps the most insane law is that simply “being present where drug activity occurs with knowledge of the activity” could cost you 90 days of your freedom and 300 bucks.
Add this all up, and Idaho is one of the most terrifying places to use cannabis. You’d be justified to be paranoid about just thinking about thinking about smoking some weed.
Don’t Spark Up At The Boise Hempfest!
With those insane pot laws, no wonder there’s a big disclaimer on the Hempfest website. In fact, the festival organizers would prefer it if you don’t smoke anything at all. It reads: “We will ask anyone smoking a substance of ANY KIND to leave the park.” Ultimately, that’ll make the Boise Hempfest a bit more tame than, say, Michigan’s Hash Bash or Spannabis.