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This year marks the 15th year that Washington state activists have been holding a Christmas Vigil at the King County Jail. Every year since 2000, activists in Washington have gathered outside the King County jailhouse in a vigil to draw attention to the tens of thousands of non-violent drug offenders who are incarcerated unjustly and far from their loving families on this holiday.
When the vigil began more than a decade ago, it was a joint effort between The November Coalition (an organization dedicated to grassroots activism and education about the destructive force of the drug war and incarceration of non-violent offenders) and Seattle Hempfest. This year, they will be joined by The Human Solution International, which is a national organization that focuses on support for those facing criminal charges related to cannabis.
The point of this vigil is both publicity about the destructive nature of the drug war and an action performed in solidarity with those paying the price of long-term incarceration for America’s cannabis prohibition. Vivian McPeak from Seattle Hempfest is one of the primary organizers (and the one who began the Facebook page for the event this year). The vigil will begin at noon on Christmas and will run until roughly 1:30 in the afternoon. The location of the jail for first-time visitors is 500 5th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98104.
Those in Washington who will be able to make it to the vigil are encouraged to RSVP on the Facebook page for the event. The organizers want attendees to remember to dress warm, keep their companion animals on a leash at all times, and behave in a respectful manner while there (which includes not blocking the public thoroughfare).
For previous Ladybud Magazine coverage of cannabis in Washington, click here.
Photo credit: David Yan via Flickr, no edits.