Pot banned at Electric Forest, but enforcement lax


GRANT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Among the fruit trees and woods near Rothbury, about 50,000 people are gathering for the Electric Forest festival.

It’s an annual festival known not only for electric music, but also for funky costumes and the smell of marijuana.

But while marijuana is now legal in Michigan, the festival is not allowing it.

Well, sort of not.

On Thursday, just before the gates opened for the first musical act, the smell of weed floated over a man who calls himself Poe.

“Like Edgar Allen Poe,” he said.

Poe caravanned with his friends 14 hours from Atlanta for an electric music festival at the Double JJ Resort, which covers square miles.

Some got here on Wednesday, camping overnight, even among cherry trees, for a festival that runs through Sunday. Tickets sold out in three hours.

Poe said he really wasn’t sure what the weed rule was, but he’ll light up anyway.

“One thousand percent I will,” he said. “I will smoke some pot in the forest.”

At the gates to get in, security was combing through cars for anything that wasn’t allowed.

Not a problem, Poe said.

“You got to be smarter than a fifth grader,” he said.

There was another guy juggling some kind of crystal ball. He called himself Nonsense and said he was from outer space.

Nonsense said he has no plans to smoke.

“My body is a temple,” he said. “A well-sequined temple.”

But he knows what marijuana smells like.

“What is that smell?” he said. “Ah. It’s one person. I can pinpoint it. It’s over there. It’s in the air.”

The smoke wafted over Michigan State Police troopers, who are being paid by the festival, and, for the most part, are looking the other way. Dozens of troopers are working the festival. They said Thursday afternoon that they had already arrested two festival-goers for selling narcotics.

“Our people are focused on people who are selling drugs and are really impacting the safety here,” MSP Lt. Christian Clute said. “That’s what we’re asking them to focus on.”

That is fine for Erikka Blevins, who came from Kansas City, dressed as a cat.

“It’s fun,” she said. “Everyone’s happy and I get to be as weird as I want, and no one cares.”

And, she said, as they say up here:

“Happy Forest.”

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