Missouri festival-goers celebrate hemp’s diversity

Written by Cliff Sain

The second annual Hemp Fest is full of music and games, but organizers believe there is something much more serious going on.
The three-day festival, which concludes today, is a celebration of the cannabis plant and features live bands performing on three stages (one indoor), inflatable games for children, and vendors selling an assortment of items including T-shirts, tapestries, smoking implements, artwork, accessories and jewelry.
But event planner Travis Holt said that while the weekend event is fun, he and others want to raise awareness about the diversity of the plant, which can be used to make clothing or food, and can be used as a medicine.
“We’re here to create a platform where people can speak on behalf of the cannabis plant,” he said.
Daisy Thomas, of Cuba, Mo., said she came to the festival with her husband, Anthony, to show support for medical marijuana.
Thomas said she had seven tumors on her liver in 2010. After $16,000 worth of treatments, she lost her job — and insurance — because chemotherapy made her too sick to work. She said it was in Ohio that she was able to find treatment using cannabis oil that she took orally. She said five of the tumors disappeared; the other two shrunk, but did not respond as well to treatment. Now, six months after her cannabis treatment stopped, she said her remaining tumors are growing again.
“When I was on cannabis treatment, I quit all my other medications,” she said. “For six months, it cost me $1,200.”
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