Wallyhood introduces a new guest blogger, who we’ll call “Annie” here.  She’s our little anonymous mouse, guest blogging about the Seattle Cannabis Farmer’s Market in Wallingford.  Welcome, Annie Mouse!

Hello everyone!

Today Wallyhood got a tip that there is a medical marijuana dispensary in Wallingford & that there was a smoking tent outside.  Did Wallyhood  know what is going on?

I do!  I do!  Wallyhood thought I might, and asked me to write about it.  Thank you for letting me do this.

First, there is no dispensary in Wallingford.  A dispensary is a full time location that works like a pharmacy, only for marijuana instead of pills and ointments.

The first ever cannabis farmers market was held in South Lake Union in February, but outgrew the space on Day 1.  After some down time, OmCulture started hosting the Seattle Cannabis Farmers Market on Pacific Avenue.  It’s just a few hours a weekend, once a month.  But it is a great resource for medical marijuana patients who don’t grow their own medicine.  The farmers market allows patients safe access to marijuana without having to grow it, and without having to go to Seattle’s nonprofit dispensaries which can sometimes be shady.  Sometimes they even get robbed at gunpoint (see article about Fremont dispensary robbery here).  I’m not very interested in being there when that happens.  Most medical marijuana patients aren’t.  We’re law-abiding citizens with medical conditions that are helped by marijuana.

I was diagnosed with a chronic neurological condition many years ago.  Since then, regular medicine has been unable to treat my disease without terrible side effects that make every day harder.  Once I stopped taking normal medicine, I started looking at alternatives for managing my day to day symptoms.  Movement classes, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, Chinese medicine tinctures, etc.   But marijuana is really the best thing I can do for myself.  With it I can function normally without going to the ER for side effects, I can sleep and rest, I have more energy, I have an appetite, my eyesight is better, and my immune system focuses on inflammation instead of stress. My daily life is about as normal as I could ever hope for.  And I can still work full time.

Today I went to the farmers market to buy more medicine and to try edibles that don’t cause any intoxication.  I got there around 2pm, and saw Seattle Police behind the building talking to people with baggies in their hands.  I almost left then, but some people walking by told me the police weren’t arresting anyone who was following the rules.  Some neighbors had complained about the parking (I would too, it was a mess!) and the smell of marijuana.  That’s when the police spotted an outdoor smoking tent, and found some people smoking in their cars on Bagley.  The tent was taken down and the people in their cars were asked to leave.

Then about an hour later, the police came back inside.  I heard some of the farmers market volunteers calling their lawyers asking for help.  Then everybody started saying, “We’re shut down.  Please leave in an orderly fashion.”  Which everyone did.  For the record, the police didn’t come storming in scaring people.  They just asked everyone to leave.

I don’t yet know why.  The dispensaries should be operating legally (except for the tent.  What were they thinking?).  But Washington State marijuana law is in flux.  There was even some secret verbal vote Friday night in Olympia that nobody seems to understand yet.  I’ll contact the farmers market organizers and try to find out what’s happening, and whether the farmers market will return to Wallingford on June 12th as planned.

Until then, I’m happy to report the incident today was handled quietly by both the Cannabis Farmers Market and the Seattle Police Department.  I saw no sirens, and no handcuffs.  Nobody started yelling.  I did sign some petitions though.

More soon, I hope!  If you want to learn about Washington State medical marijuana laws, click here.

Annie

  1. Frankie said,

    I wasn’t there, but from your description, it was probably the public nuisance being caused rather than the activity. People getting high in vehicles is probably not super epic for PR or common sense.

    Would be nice to normalize it so that dispensaries aren’t attractive to crime any more than a Wine store is. Maybe a few years to go.

    Sun, May 22 at 10:01 pm
  2. Bagley resident said,

    We live up the street from Om Culture, and wondered what was going on last month when the first ‘farmers market’ opened. Yes, the clogged streets were pretty annoying for a few hours, but it was not such a big deal. I’m all for medical use of marijuana, but I have to say, very few of the market patrons looked like patients with a prescription for the stuff. Mostly healthy-looking (if somewhat dissipated) kids in their 20s. Hmmm…. Who is verifying that these sales are of the legal kind? Would be a shame is the medical marijuana program was derailed by casual users taking advantage of a loophole.

    Sun, May 22 at 10:11 pm
  3. Kara C said,

    please come to Not A Number to sign the petition (WA state registered voters) to stop police from harrassing or arresting adults who have marijuana. thanks!

    Mon, May 23 at 3:45 pm
  4. Chris W. said,

    Thanks, Kara! Glad to know where folks can drop in & sign the petition (I’ve already signed, but maybe I’ll drop in to say hi anyway!).

    Mon, May 23 at 3:48 pm
  5. Michael said,

    Thanks Annie Mouse for your very balanced and non-alarmist article. I manage the OmCulture facility. We mostly hold yoga and dance classes, evening dances and some events. When the folks who run the cannabis farmers market approached me, I knew they were in a corner because their previous location had suddenly shut down (for reasons entirely unrelated to the market). I agreed to host four markets, two in April and two in June.

    Though I do see the market as an efficient way for medical marijuana patients to get their medicine in a safe environment, I too felt that some (not all) of the people coming in may have gotten their cards without real medical need. My other concern was that this was a much bigger activity than I originally expected.

    We recognize that running a facility that will be hosting larger events from time to time will impact our neighborhood, in both positive and negative ways. We are absolutely committed to being a good neighbor in true Wallyhood style, so issues around parking and noise are very important to us.

    This past Sunday was the last of the markets I had agreed to, so we will not be hosting any more. I generally agree with the principles of the market, but feel that it is simply too large an event to host in a residential neighborhood. This might be something that will work better in a warehouse in an industrial neighborhood.

    The good news for Wallyhooders is that we have found a marvelous childrens program coordinator and we are in the process of putting together our pre-school open studio as well as after-school classes for older kids as early as this September — yay!!!

    We also are host to tango practica on Wednesday evenings as well as blues, fusion and sacred dances (NO RAVES!!!). We aim to be a local center for kids, families and just plain folks who like to dance and play in a fabulous space. Anyone open to a Friday evening game night for families??

    All that said, thanks all for being understanding, progressive and willing to try new things — all hallmarks of the Wallingford ethic.

    If you want more information or simply would like to discuss what’s happening at Om, go to omculture.com or just call me, Michael, at 206-406-6133.

    Mon, May 23 at 4:30 pm
  6. Fred said,

    I agree that some people/patients do very well with marijuana. I not against them getting authorized to use it legally. I hope that marijuana smokers realize that it is like a cigarette to some of us. It is a bronchodialator. I am allergic to marijuana smoke, go into an asthma attack when it is around me, and I just also happen to be a respiratory therapist!

    So if you want/need to use marijuana, just remember, it is not a good thing for everyone. Have respect for others since we have respect for you using it, in the privacy of your home.

    Mon, May 23 at 5:35 pm
  7. Michael Suzerris said,

    Just noticed an error in my previous message. I said we had agreed to host two in April and two in June. I meant to say May, not June. So there is no concern about it, there will be no more cannabis farmers markets at OmCulture. Thanks, all.

    Mon, May 23 at 5:41 pm
  8. Gayle said,

    I thought 4+Evergreen or whatever it’s exactly called was a marijuana dispensary. At least that’s the impression I got from the ads I saw in the Stranger. it’s on the Wallingford side of Aurora between 39th & 40th, so technically in Wallingford.

    Mon, May 23 at 9:34 pm
  9. Annie Mouse said,

    Hi, everyone. What great comments. Michael, you’ll hear from me off line in the next day or so. But wanted to say here that I really appreciate your hosting this event til now. I hope it was a positive experience for you. And we’ll talk more soon! Peace, Annie.

    Mon, May 23 at 9:34 pm

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