West Seattle scene: Marijuana message materializes at ‘Walking on Logs’

The so-called “dancing children” who comprise the Walking on Logs sculpture along the Fauntleroy Way end of the West Seattle Bridge sometimes are decorated with T-shirts. Today, they’re wearing black T-shirts bearing the message “Marijuana is safer than alcohol.”

After getting the tip from Jake, we went over to see if the T-shirts listed a sponsoring organization, maybe fine print, or on the back. Nope. No banner or signage nearby either (aside from campaign messages for a couple of people running for judge). The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has long kept the list of authorized “Walking on Logs” decorators, so we’re checking to see if someone signed up to promote this message – the first pro-cannabis display we recall seeing there – but CEO Lynn Dennis is out of the office today. Looking around online, we did find a Federal Way group that offers T-shirts like these.

P.S. Authorized or not, it’s not the only marijuana message on the bridge right now; on the westbound leg of our bridge trip to check this out, we took note of the Dama Cannabis billboard alongside the Spokane Street Viaduct just before the 99 overpass.

ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Chamber CEO Dennis says they don’t know who’s responsible for the pro-pot shirts, but the sculptures were supposed to be in use this week by Run of Hope supporters, who were expected to put their group’s shirts on “Walking on Logs” sometime today.

46 Replies to "West Seattle scene: Marijuana message materializes at 'Walking on Logs'"

  • Kayleigh September 22, 2014 (12:52 pm)

    For heaven’s sake, it’s already legal. What’s the point of promoting it further?
    Get a life, people.

  • Mike September 22, 2014 (1:09 pm)

    LOL @ Kayleigh. Ever heard of marketing before?

  • CubanRefugee September 22, 2014 (1:21 pm)

    “Get a life, people.”

    Alcohol is legal, and there are billboards and ads all over the place. Should those people get a life too?

    The shirts are just simply stating a fact. Marijuana *is* safer than alcohol. There have been plenty of studies to show that to be the case. Even though it’s legal, there’s still very much a stigma surrounding pot that it’s an “oh so terrible and addictive gateway drug,” when that just isn’t the case, and people need to be properly educated on the matter.

  • Jason September 22, 2014 (1:29 pm)

    The log walkers are correct!

  • Ex-Westwood Resident September 22, 2014 (1:57 pm)

    Marijuana is NOT safer, than alcohol.
    At the least, it is AS dangerous. At the worst it is MORE dangerous than both alcohol AND cigarettes.
    “The researchers add that the ability of cannabis smoke to damage DNA has significant human health implications especially as users tend to inhale more deeply than cigarette smokers, which increases respiratory burden. “The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day,” the team adds.”
    It also says:
    “There have been many studies on the toxicity of tobacco smoke. It is known that tobacco smoke contains 4000 chemicals of which 60 are classed as carcinogens. Cannabis in contrast has not been so well studied. It is less combustible than tobacco and is often mixed with tobacco in use. Cannabis smoke contains 400 compounds including 60 cannabinoids. However, because of its lower combustibility it contains 50% more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalene, benzanthracene, and benzopyrene, than tobacco smoke.”
    Colorado has seen an increase of over 400% of DUI arrests for Marijuana use since it was legalized.

  • cj September 22, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    Its true, it is safer. Despite decades of moronic jabberwalki write ups designed to promote the drug war.

  • KM September 22, 2014 (2:32 pm)

    Won’t someone PLEASE think of the CHILDREN!?

  • Jeanine September 22, 2014 (2:36 pm)

    Ex-Westwood, what if you don’t smoke it?

  • Smitty September 22, 2014 (2:48 pm)

    I have to admit, unless they are dressed in yellow or orange I don’t even think to glance at these things. Even when stuck in evening traffic.

    They probably got 100X as many eyeballs after WSB published this story, which I assume was part of their plan all along (nice work, Jake!).

    Good for them

  • Hating on Logs September 22, 2014 (2:48 pm)

    This is a good illustration of what makes Walking on Logs such a detestable blight on our neighborhood.

    I am pro-legalization. But I don’t want to see pro-pot t-shirts on these statues. In fact, I don’t want to see *any* t-shirts on these statues. Appropriating highly visible public sculptures for pet causes — whether it’s the Girl Scouts or climate change denial — should not be tolerated.

    Even when they’re naked, Walking on Logs is dreck. The guy who stole one of them is my personal hero. Hey buddy – can you come back and take the other ones?

  • CanDo September 22, 2014 (3:09 pm)

    I think the “Walking on Logs” display actually looks better with clothing, but that’s just my opinion of the art quality there. That being said though, I’m not sure promoting ANY drug or alcohol on a public statue is a good idea, especially when that public art is supposed to depict children. Just don’t think it sends a good message.

    Rent a billboard if you need to promote your product or message.

  • Chris Wells September 22, 2014 (3:12 pm)

    Give me a party of stoners over a party of drunks any day.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident September 22, 2014 (3:24 pm)

    I don’t smoke it.
    Really don’t care if someone does…as long as it is done according to the stipulations in the law the voters approved (more on that later).
    I am anti-drug, but if you want to use them, as long as you don’t endanger others with your use and keep it out of the public eye…so what.
    But to say that marijuana is safer than alcohol is WRONG. It is not safer.
    The issue I have with the current law on marijuana is that it is being smoked in public, EVERYWHERE, something that is unlawful according to the law as voted in. Now the Seattle City Clowncil and the City Atty are trying to stop the police from enforcing that aspect of the law.
    This is what I was afraid of…pass the law with these stipulations, then when you find it’s not being obeyed, instead of enforcing it, just ignore the portions you don’t like. Unfortunately the City is following the actions of 0bama when it comes to obeying laws (pick and choose what law, or portions of laws you want to enforce, delay or change by edict).
    This past summer at the WS Street Fair I was manning our booth, when one of the kids that also worked the booth, asked what was that awful smell. I knew what it was and went to look for the offender. Found him, not only was he smoking it in public, but he was under aged. He put it out when I threatened to call the police and moved on with his friend pulling him away. When he got about 30 feet away he found his “handcuff courage” and started yelling that he was going to kick my a$$.
    The point is marijuana is legal, no issue from me (although I voted against it), BUT the laws,a s approved in the initiative, MUST be ENFORCED as written.

  • zark00 September 22, 2014 (3:30 pm)

    @ Ex-Westwood – before you scare-monger, do a bit of fact checking. You’re quoting Fox News’s interpretation of a 2009 study on calf DNA. Nearly the entire scientific community completely disagrees with you about the health risks of pot vs alcohol.

    The information is really from a 2009 study in the UK.
    The study that Fox is claiming proves pot alters DNA in humans was in fact “calf thymus DNA treated in vitro (in a Petri dish) with the smoke generated from 1, 5, and 10 cannabis cigarettes.”

    Just to be clear, this story was first run by Fox News as: “http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/06/17/marijuana-not-only-gets-high-it-damages-your-dna/”
    So FOX made the assumption that blowing smoke on calf thymus DNA in a petri dish is the same as someone smoking a joint – FOX made that assumption, not the study or the researchers.

    FOX said ““Cannabis in contrast has not been so well studied.”
    But didn’t bother to mention, from a study earlier that year, that Medicinal Research Reviews stated: “Research on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids has reached enormous proportions. … [A]pproximately 15,000 articles on Cannabis sativa L. and cannabinoids and over 2,000 articles on endocannabinoids (are available in the scientific literature).”

    FOX news said:
    “The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day,”

    Except, it isn’t, if you believe Donald Tashkin of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.(Dr. Tashkin has performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years and is considered to be the United States’ — if not the world’s — foremost expert on the subject.)

    “What we found instead was no association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) and even a suggestion of some protective (anti-cancer) effect. … Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects. But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization (of marijuana). I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.”

    This is an interesting view from The Economist that may help you better understand the actual harmful impact of pot, alcohol, and other drugs compared to each other. Alcohol outranks Heroin when you look at the hard to ones self and the harm to others.
    This is a weighted study, so the sheer popularity of alcohol isn’t the whole story. It was also peer reviewed and published int he Lancet – so kinda hard to argue that they’re making stuff up.

    Alcohol is poison – I learned that in like middle school – it’s technically a poison because consuming too much can kill you. Salt water and oxygen are also poisons under the same definition (it’s weird, but true, “oxygen is a highly toxic mutagenic gas”)
    Guess what’s not a poison – Marijuana – our own DEA said a person would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the equivalent of a joint to even be at risk of death.
    The DEA is pretty famously anti-pot, yet according to a 1988 ruling from US Drug Enforcement Agency administrative law judge Francis Young:

    Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.

    Unable to kill a test animal with pot, period. You simply cannot say the same about alcohol – it is far, far, more harmful to the human anatomy.

    The increase in pot DUIs in Colorado is 50% according to USAToday, and violent crime has decreased 2.5% since legalization – but even they have no clue what they’re talking about. The Colorado DOT said very directly: “There is currently no comprehensive way to track instances of marijuana-impaired driving in Colorado.”
    So nobody knows, not even Colorado.
    Past that, Colorado has had flat DUI arrest and fatality accident with impaired driver numbers for four years – and they’re down so far this year. So if anything, Colorado has LESS impaired drivers on the road according to the stats – most officials agree it’s likely flat just like the past 4 years – no increase, no decrease.

  • I. Ponder September 22, 2014 (3:54 pm)

    Knives are also safer than guns. And chimpanzees are less violent than people. Whether or not marijuana is safer than alcohol is just as useless a comparison. They are both terrific ways for many teens to self medicate and avoid the hard work and choices they need to make in life. While some people can drink alcohol and smoke weed recreationally, many others will become habituated, and will be less productive in their own lives.

  • Jon September 22, 2014 (4:08 pm)

    The use of both marijuana and alcohol are voluntary. Not to discount the dangers to the users (which are real), but my bigger concern is with the danger to others. For that, I don’t think there’s much of an argument to be made – it’s a pretty one-sided discussion. Maybe the shirts are just as much anti-alcohol as they are pro marijuana…

  • Alphonse September 22, 2014 (4:09 pm)

    But, zark00, don’t you know you can’t trust government-sponsored studies or data from government agencies? Because Obama.

  • Kayleigh September 22, 2014 (4:14 pm)

    Surprisingly, I have seen an alcohol ad or two in my life, and I’ve been known to drink on occassion. The difference is that I don’t believe the ads that tell me alcohol is sexy or harmless, and I’m not dumb enough to believe alcohol is always OK because it’s safer than heroin.
    Cannabis culture believes far too much of its own propaganda.

  • Mr Green September 22, 2014 (4:26 pm)

    This just in: Climbing on the outer railing of the west Seattle bridge is safer than playing Russin Roulette with a handgun.

    Caparisons like these are silly. Advertise your product already. Let’s get a little more creative.

  • sgs September 22, 2014 (4:34 pm)

    I.Ponder, well said. I totally agree with you and Mr. Green too.

  • Lolapop September 22, 2014 (4:35 pm)

    I am so sick of hearing the terms “pot culture” & “cannibas culture”. Does anyone that uses these terms have any idea of how many different kinds of people use marijuana and in how many different ways it is used? I just don’t see how it can be possible for there to be a culture around marijuana.
    I do think the walking with logs shirts are tacky no matter what they say.

  • FJ September 22, 2014 (5:14 pm)

    “Pot culture?” Come on. I think you may be surprised at all the “regular” people who consume cannibas but keep it on the downlow due to all the judgemental people. I know many people like that. Upstanding law-abiding citizens and everything!

  • zark00 September 22, 2014 (5:32 pm)

    @ Alphonse – Nicely done heh heh :)
    @ Ponder – I think you have the sagest, most on point advice. Best advice I ever got about pot was very similar. Along the lines of “Prob not gonna kill ya, but certainly won’t help you do ANYTHING.”

    That said, I think a factually based discussion about the dangers of both substances is not only helpful and necessary, but also provides a basis for people to understand what is truly happening in the world around them.

    Its stuff like this:
    “Cannabis culture believes far too much of its own propaganda.”
    that a factual discussion is needed to eliminate.
    I didn’t cite a bunch of pro-cannabis propaganda.

    I explained where this BS story about pot changing your DNA came from. I cited USAtoday, the DEA, the Economist, the Colorado DOT, and Fox News – none of these are known to be particularity pro-pot.

    It’s not propaganda just because YOU don’t personally agree. I may not agree either, I just put the facts up that I was able to find with some desk research. If you have contradictory facts from a reputable source, if you have info that a source I cited is incorrect, or if you have any other relevant information I’d LOVE to read it.

    When you put this kind of fake information forward as fact it can be very damaging. For one, nobody will regard your opinion as credible anymore – including the only ones who matter, your kids. Tell your kids horror stories about pot and when they try it themselves and find out you were ignorant, misinformed, or just lying to them, they aren’t going to listen to your CORRECT advice about not shooting up heroin.

  • Bud September 22, 2014 (5:46 pm)

    Buy pot from legal stores. Don’t smoke pot in public.

  • Jennifer Hall September 22, 2014 (6:29 pm)

    “Safer” is a relative term. Does anyone want to promote marijuana or alcohol use among elementary, middle-school, or high school aged students? Does anyone think that smoking pot is going to help students matriculate through high school?
    “Walking on Logs” may look tacky to some people. I remember watching volunteers put the foundatiom in, and psinstakingly mount each statue. I thought it was tacky then, too, but I grew to love it. The idea of children playing freely, happily, in nature, supported
    by a caring, inclusive community — that is the
    idea that the volunteers were putting forward
    as they dreamed of, planned out,
    commissioned and installed the tacky but
    sweet kid figures. A lot of West Seattleites
    are here to raise our families, in the caring
    supportive community that those log-walkin’ metal kids represent. And, speaking for myself, I don’t care for pot profiteers commandeering the sweet ‘n tacky symbol of
    my family’s ‘hood to normalize marijuana use Read the New Zealand study. Marijuana use in children and teens inhibits brain development. MRI scans of the brains of marijuana users (in their 20’s who used in their teens) show dark areas. Using images of kids to push marijuana does not show an enlightened attitude. Endarkenment is more like it.

  • Mike September 22, 2014 (9:21 pm)

    1. They put pro drug t-shirts on statues of children. Classy… Why not some Advil tshirts, that’s safe in moderation too.
    2. “Marijuana is safer than alcohol” is no better than “Marijuana is safer than meth”.


    The fact is that Marijuana is not ‘safe’ it’s a drug that has very real effects. Some are helpful for pain relief in cancer patients under treatment. However, a blanket statement like this is not only a lie, it’s sending the wrong message for why people like myself, voted to allow legal use of marijuana for medical purposes. If you want to get stoned and drive and you hit my kid, you’re going to be stoned in a different way.

  • Livin' in the Hood since '92 September 22, 2014 (9:53 pm)

    @Ex-Westwood Re: Is that you, Dori Monson?

  • scout 15 September 22, 2014 (10:44 pm)

    Similar to the years of “smoking calms the nerves”, the true negative effects as related to pulmonary, gastrointestinal, carcinogenic,etc of marijuana usage are decades away.
    History does repeat! Let the buyer beware.

  • wst September 23, 2014 (12:13 am)

    Bravo to Zark00! Well done sir, your response to ex westwood is spot on. I have smoked marijuana habitually for 10 years, this has not prevented me from accomplishing goals or altered my life negatively. Quite the opposite, Pot has literally enhanced my life in so many ways. I graduated college and found stable employment, and guess what, im also a good employee. What it really comes down to people, is a persons individual ability to make choices with regards to their OWN life. There are plenty of “sober” people who are more of a threat to society than this sh** . Fear is far more addicting
    than weed. Just ask God

  • enid September 23, 2014 (6:47 am)

    Agree with Kayleigh and I. Ponder. The pro-pot lobby is just as rabid with their message as the reefer madness stereotype they love to demonize (meaning anyone who disagrees with them on any point, even those who voted for legalization). What is even more ludicrous is that this debate rages over a choice on how to get HIGH – as if this were some essential human right. It is not. Says a lot about our society, though.

  • westseattlite September 23, 2014 (7:04 am)

    I have smoked weed most of my life. I am 50. I have a family, a house, beautiful things, a successful career, money in the bank. I am in great health. I play sports. I have a lovely old bmw…. My children are gifted. Marijuana is seems to be fine. I love to drink booze too…
    I feel sorry for all you naysayers…

  • Superchronics September 23, 2014 (10:34 am)


  • Jw September 23, 2014 (11:41 am)


  • furor scribendi September 23, 2014 (12:04 pm)

    I Ponder and ex-Westwood, you’re absolutely correct. The rabid pro-dopers trolling here are self-serving promoters who are trying to make a buck, advertising w/ tee shirts on local statues and unaware how totally they’re alienating their fellow citizens. The benefits of legalization haven’t materialized – – bad health consequences, more DWI drivers, no tax-increase panacea, hooked kids and hoodwinked adults – – let’s recriminalize.

  • Amanda September 23, 2014 (12:53 pm)

    To the people saying “It’s legal, stop already.”
    No, it is not legal. Legal would me there are no restrictions on consuming it or producing it, and I’m sorry, but I don’t know when the last time you read the law, but there are a ton of restrictions still on it.
    No, marijuana is not legal. And we will not stop promoting the full legalization of it until it is!

  • zark00 September 23, 2014 (1:56 pm)

    @Amanda – so, alcohol is illegal too? There are MANY restrictions on consuming and producing alcohol as well.
    Do you all fight this hard against legal booze too? Or are you hypocrits?

    @ Furor – do you also promote the return of prohibition against alcohol?

    If not, why not? Are they not the same for all intents and purposes?

    If they’re not, what is inherently safer about legal booze than legal pot?

    You just want legislation to impise your own morality on others. This is the USA, we don’t do that here. Should we pass laws that religions you don’t understand and approve of be illegal too? That would also be pushing your own personal morality on others.

    If its truly public health and safety you’re concerned with, you’d be calling for alcohol to be illegal again too.

  • Jw September 23, 2014 (1:58 pm)

    @ Amanda.
    I would also like to see driving fully “legalized”.
    No more speed limit signs!!!!!

  • sandra September 23, 2014 (2:43 pm)

    I find any political or religious ad or message displayed on these statues to be very off-turning. I am pro-legalization, but this is just offensive.

  • zark00 September 23, 2014 (3:21 pm)

    Yeah, freedom of speech sure sucks sometimes doesn’t it?

  • I. Ponder September 23, 2014 (6:56 pm)

    I’m fine with the message on the statue T-shirts, even if I disagree with its over-simplistic message. It stimulates discussion. I bet it stimulated discussion between parents and their kids. I think that’s a good thing. FYI: Back in the day I smoked lots of weed. I call those days my “missing years”. Not sure exactly what I did or accomplished. After quitting I accomplished a lot. I know some people can function quite well while using, but I wasn’t one of them. People’s brains are wired differently.

  • Mike September 23, 2014 (9:07 pm)

    “Yeah, freedom of speech sure sucks sometimes doesn’t it?”
    There’s freedom of speech and there’s vandalizing property. If the people who put these shirts on the statues of kids had approval from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce to do so it’s freedom of speech. Otherwise it’s vandalism and I hope to see those that did it fined and required to provide funding for educating children of the dangers of substance abuse.
    Again, I voted to legalize for medical purposes. I didn’t vote to promote it for recreational use for kids, which is what this promotes.

  • Thomas M. September 23, 2014 (11:18 pm)

    Always try to remember there is no quicker way to lose credibility than to overstate your claim.

  • Vivian M September 24, 2014 (3:01 pm)

    You people suggesting that cannabis is NOT safer than alcohol are delusional. Look at the statistics! Alcohol kills tens of thousands of people annually directly from its use, and then from all of the violence and accidents that is causes.

    Where are your statistics? They do not exist. There is no comparison.

    Your weak emotional arguments cannot change reality.

    WHERE are the cancer victims? WHERE are the overdoses? WHERE are the body counts?


    Get over it. We are winning You are losing. The sky has not fallen. Life will go on.

    There is so much marijuana in our society already it would stun you if you could realize it. This changes little.

    Your hate, your bigotry, your assumptions are not enough to hold back justice and truth.

    We are no threat to you. YOU are the threat TO US! So chillax, accept the reality — we are overcoming, and we are doing it legally, peacefully, and responsibly. That is what you all always said we should do. We are doing it.

  • Doc O September 25, 2014 (4:33 am)

    Vivian M … Right On! A precise summary, per usual.
    All the rest of ya … STAY S-A-F-E-R! This is but a FIRST and by no means a LAST public display of this type.

  • john September 25, 2014 (9:54 am)

    people who use marijuana most usually don’t shoot other people with guns either….

  • ladybugged September 27, 2014 (2:07 am)

    One disturbing comment here is by Amanda with the stated goal of removing all restrictions on marijuana use or growing (plants smell almost as bad as the smoking, only the plant smell is constant, day and night, unrelenting). Everyone must realize that is their end goal. Using T-shirts on statues of children is no doubt a minor, minor part of that–detestable, but minor. And equally disturbing is the realization that the City Attorney will not allow law enforcement of even the existing laws.
    But perhaps one big problem about “legal” marijuana is how this affects the normal(!) citizen in their own home, neighborhood, community. A neighbor in my community takes full advantage of pot smoking–front yard, back yard, walking the dog. And, under protection of “medical” marijuana, they have grown a plant fifteen feet from my property that is tall enough to be seen over the six-foot fence. I didn’t vote for the initiative, but I couldn’t care less if someone wants to smoke up their brains and grow weed – as long as they’re adult and it only affects them. I’d think they were foolish, but it’s their decision. But when what they do adversely affects those around them, that should not be allowed. I have to wear a respirator mask whenever I go outside, even early in the morning on the way to work. This evening, coming home late, I made the mistake of leaving a door open and had to even wear the mask inside when the smoke from next door thickened in the night. (For those who detest marijuana smoke and plant fumes, I’ve found the masks designed for household chemicals seem to work best… though not thoroughly). Smoking neighbors don’t want the smell in their own house, but they are perfectly fine with smelling up others’ homes.
    The legalization initiative (including medical marijuana, which in my neighborhood is the worst offender) should have read: “Will it be legal for a neighbor to fill your yard with marijuana smoke and fumes so you lose your use of your own yard, do not have breathable air in your own back or front yard, cannot sit outside day or night without being assaulted by the smoke, must keep your doors and windows closed at all times, cannot have visitors lest they be offended by the smell, must keep children out of the yard, and be concerned with how it is affecting your pets? Shall it be legal for a neighbor to continue to afflict you with pot fumes that burn your nostrils and eyes and even skin and give you a headache and stomach ache no matter how much you complain to them about it? Will it be legal for pot smokers to smoke in your parks and fill the air with fumes as you walk down their street?” That is really what was voted on. “They,” the pot smokers, have gained “freedom” at the expense of damaging their non-smoking neighbors. But perhaps that was their goal, too.

Sorry, comment time is over.