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TAKE A TRIP WITH RICK.

"Even if it costs him clients and endorsements, travel guru Rick Steves has never been a shrinking violet when it comes to speaking his mind. He opposes the war in Iraq.

And, as he has seen done across Europe, he flies a peace flag outside his Edmonds headquarters despite the fact that, when it went up, an angry man approached sneering, "Boy! I bet if you realized how much that cost your business, you'd think twice!"

He wouldn't. It is Steves' deep, internationally informed opposition to this country's criminalizing of personal marijuana use that will send him to the Hempfest stage.

"I'm not going to sit at (Edmonds') Fifth and Main streets and smoke a joint," Steves told me. "But 800,000 people in the U.S. were arrested last year for marijuana while, in Berne (Switzerland) they're in public, smoking and playing backgammon and not bothering anyone. It (criminal prosecution) forces people into the street to deal with scary people. It's just so wrong."

Travel guru stands firm on war and weed



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