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The Washington Hemp Education Network

Operating Abstract


The following text defines the structure and mission of a non-profit educational organization known as the Washington Hemp Education Network (W.H.E.N.). This organization consists of volunteer members.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Washington Hemp Education Network (W.H.E.N.) is to empower the people of Washington State, through educational activities about the history, status, and uses (both current and potential) of the Hemp plant (cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana), to make informed choices about the issues surrounding re-legalization of Hemp in Washington State.

Recognition of Benefit

The Washington Hemp Education Network recognizes as beneficial all responsible commercial, medicinal, and spiritual uses of the Hemp plant conducted for peaceful ends.

Program and Goals

To achieve the stated mission, the Washington Hemp Education Network will plan and implement legal, nonviolent projects that:

  1. Raise public awareness of the history and beneficial uses of the Hemp plant;
  2. Educate the public to recognize and reject misinformation about Hemp;
  3. Facilitate changes in current laws to allow the people of Washington State to grow Hemp openly and engage in normal market activities with Hemp products;
  4. Through education and coalition, help to empower people who have been disempowered by misguided government policies concerning Hemp;
  5. Promote research and development of sustainable, environmentally responsible Hemp cultivation, and of beneficial products derived from Hemp.

Project Criteria

All projects planned and implemented by the Washington Hemp Education Network will be consistent with the Mission, Recognition of Benefit, and Program and Goals statements defined herein.

Endorsement and Support

The Washington Hemp Education Network will endorse and support only those projects undertaken by individuals or other entities that are consistent with the Mission, Recognition of Benefit, and Program and Goals.

Method of Operation

This organization will meet regularly and will operate on the principle of consensus. As defined by the Center for Conflict Resolution, Madison, WI, consensus is "a decision-making process in which all parties involved explicitly agree to the final decision.

Consensus decision making does not mean that all parties are completely satisfied with the final outcome, but that the decision is acceptable to all because no one feels that his or her vital interests or values are violated by it."

A board of directors will not be elected; rather, the founding charter members will constitute the decision-making body, will serve as the projects and issues forum facilitation group, and will exercise no power other than that of presiding over meetings as defined by the Method of Operation, and of approving membership applications and filling vacancies in the charter member group when a charter member leaves the group.

Other future members may be added to the decision-making body of charter members if a consensus decision for such action is made by the charter members. Members other than charter members are encouraged to participate in discussions on issues that are being addressed during the decision-making process; participation in the final consensus

decision is limited to charter members.

Consensus Procedures

  • o For each meeting, the charter members will appoint a rotating clerk, who will convene the meeting and govern the discussions during the meeting. The clerk is responsible for compiling and disseminating the agenda and supporting materials at least four days prior to the meeting.
  • o If one or more members feel that a decision must be reached, the clerk must clearly state the issue to be decided and allow each member to speak uninterrupted about the issue. After each member speaks once about the issue, it can be debated if necessary by the group; however, members must not interrupt other speakers and must wait until granted the floor by the clerk before speaking.
  • o Members must listen attentively and strive to understand each point of view, knowing that through the consensus process each decision must ultimately be a compromise of all points of view.
  • o The clerk will develop a decision statement as the debate proceeds. The clerk will then document the evolution of the debate and will modify the position of the group by incorporating each point of view into the decision statement.
  • o When all points of view have been made known, and the decision statement has reached a static state, the clerk will call for consensus on the statement. Three possible positions may be taken by the charter members: Consent, Object, or Stand Aside:
  • o Consent indicates the member agrees to support the decision as the best compromise that can be achieved by the group.
  • o Object indicates the member will not allow consensus to occur; if ONE member objects, the decision is discarded and no action is taken on the issue by the organization at that time.
  • o Stand Aside indicates the member cannot agree with the decision but will not prevent the decision from being adopted
  • by the group; the decision stands as long as no one indicates


These procedures should suffice for most issues facing the charter members of W.H.E.N. If a situation should arise that cannot be resolved by the above procedures, the clerk will reference the consensus handbook published by the Center for Conflict Resolution. Charter members who are absent from announced meetings are by default relinquishing their consensus vote for the affected meetings only.

Dave Hall, Olympia, WA:



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