Rep. Dennis Kucinich lit up the crowd at Seattle’s Hempfest on Saturday by comparing its efforts to legalize the marijuana weed with other historical struggles in the last century.
“Open America! Show yourself! Mass action! This is why, and how, recent movements for freedom in Tunisia and Egypt gained momentum,” the Ohio Democrat told the crowd.
“This is how Gandhi’s march to the sea cast off the British Empire. This is how America ‘s suffragettes gained for women the right to vote. This is how Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington became a pivotal moment in the history of the Civil Rights Movement,” Kucinich said.
“It’s time for us to march that path too.”
Meanwhile, Kucinich’s job representing Ohio’s 10th congressional district may go up in smoke when the state’s redistricting plans are finalized in a few weeks.
Reports indicate Kucinich may move to Washington State and pursue a run for Congress in either the First or 10th District.
The former presidential hopeful also advocated for abortion, workers’ rights, an end to war and the Patriot Act, gay rights, “hospitalization, not incarceration” for drug addicts, not-for-profit health care, education for all, jobs for all, and a constitutional amendment to publicly finance elections.
“Ours is a restless quest for freedom,” Kucinich said.
The Hempfesters have been gathering for 20 years to peacefully protest the illegal status of marijuana, according to the event’s Web page. It takes credit for having a “profound impact” on marijuana legislation in the region, particularly in Seattle, where “simple” possession of the substance is no longer prosecuted.
This year, the City of Seattle passed an ordinance allowing for “cannabis collectives.”