Jefferson State Hemp Expo looks to raise hemp awareness

, Written by Matt Jordan, Posted: Fri, August 22 2014 at 6:07 PM, Updated: Fri, August 22 2014 at 6:28 PM

Provolt, Ore -- If passed measure 91 would make marijuana legal for Oregonians over age 21. 

  The issue comes before voters in November and supporters are already pushing their message using this weekend's Jefferson State Hemp Expo to get to the word out.

  Advocates of hemp, the non-drug cousin of marijuana, say the plant can be used for fabric, building materials, even medicine.

  At a festival that kicked off Friday morning, advocates were gathering support for the plant and a ballot measure that could legalize recreational marijuana in State of Oregon.

  At first glance the fields of Provolt could be mistaken for any other music festival.

  "Bluegrass, to reggae, so we've got a little bit of everything, the event is also to celebrate and recognize the usefulness of hemp as an agricultural crop," said Brent Kenyon. 

  Organizers of the 5th annual Jefferson State Music Festival and hemp expo say their event has a special purpose.

  "At the end they can take something away from it, whether it be listening to their favorite bands or some new entertainment, or getting some educational information or patronizing the vendors," said Event Coordinator Erik Vestnys.    

  Hemp is the non-drug part of the cannabis plant and organizers of this event say their mission is to spread awareness of the plant's uses.

  “The difference is Hemp is the sterile form of the marijuana plant that's used for making paper, rope, all kinds of different products that is beneficial and saves trees," said Kenyon.

  While gathering support for the plant as a whole and informing festival goers of a new ballot measure.

  "Education on Ballot Measure 91, which will be voted on in the fall, which will be the decriminalization of marijuana for all adults,” said Paul Loney.

  With thousands of hemp supporters expected to gather this weekend advocates of the cannabis plant are hoping to drum up support before the November election.

  Oregon voters will decide on Ballot Measure 91 in November. If approved, the initiative will legalize possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana for Oregon adults 21 and over. Hemp fest organizers say for now their event is drug free.

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About the Author

Matt Jordan

NBC5 News reporter and weather forecaster Matt Jordan is a native Oregonian, born in Junction City.

He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Before joining NBC5 News, Matt spent a year in Alexandria, Louisiana as a reporter and anchor for KALB News. Matt was also a production assistant at KEZI 9 News in Eugene and an intern at CNN.

In addition to being passionate about news, Matt loves his Ducks and the outdoors. He also plays guitar and is a huge Jimi Hendricks and Led Zeppelin fan.

Catch Matt's weekend weather forecasts for Southern Oregon and Northern California Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm and 11pm. Also online at KOBI5.com/Weather

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