I’ve been to a lot of festivals, so naturally, I’ve inhaled a lot of second-hand smoke (the legal kind, and otherwise). But HempFest, that took things to another level. For a day, the Clark County Amphitheater’s grass was definitely greener.
1. Before I even get into the festival I’m stopped in the parking lot and asked to sign a petition on recreational marijuana in Nevada—but it doesn’t end there. The guy has another, this one on the Background Check Initiative, which he says will help close loopholes in Nevada gun laws. Who knew marijuana advocates were so politically motivated?
2. Walking in I’m accosted by the bold marijuana patterns every dude here seems to be sporting—one choice tee even features the letters “DOPE” emblazoned on the chest. But that’s nothing compared to the EDC-esque, weed-themed outfits peppered throughout the crowd, or the hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of leafy green leotards, crowns and weed glasses for sale. Miley would be proud.
3. I find a stand with a “Free vape hits” sign. I knew there would be weed smoking here, but I thought it would be a little more, uh, covert. I watch a kid take a hit, then mutter one word: “Waxy.” I think that’s a good thing.
4. If you want to see a stampede, yell “Free vape kits!” at a weed festival.
5. Edibles—hella edibles. Apparently, they’re around, but I don’t think I’m asking the right people. Instead, I find a table for Cookies, a San Francisco-based, pot-themed clothing and accessories brand, and DuBe, a hemp-infused energy drink brand—that also sells rolling papers. Close enough.
6. The toddler to weed-cloud ratio is strangely high, which leads me to wonder: why is this event all-ages? And did anyone really think it was a good idea to bring their kids?
7. I definitely just saw a guy passed out in a corner.
8. With all of this weed smoking going on in broad daylight, what exactly happens if, you know, security catches you? “We’re gonna hit it and pass it back to you,” a security guard tells me. Right on.