Posted on August 15, 2013 by News Admin
Seattle Police won't be ticketing people for public consumption at this weekend's Hempfest. Instead, they'll be issuing munchies along with information on the newly-passed marijuana laws in Washington state.
We already predict that there will be two schools of thought on this from the ganja smoking camp: The first, is that it's a funny, smart and tongue-in-check way of distributing some public information to a target group of people. The second is that it's an insulting way for police to continue stereotype cannabis users as junk-food eating dumbbells. We here at Toke side more with the former than the latter here, though admittedly we have a thing for Doritos to begin with.
"Distributing salty snacks at a festival celebrating hemp, I think, is deliberately ironic enough that people will accept them in good humor," police department spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb told The Stranger.com. "We want to make sure people learn the rules and that they respect the vote."
About 1,000 bags of chips will be distributed to the crowd, each with a sticker affixed directing people to the Seattle Police department "marijwhatnow" blog where they try to answer various legal questions about marijuana. The biggest misconception about the new law they want to nip in the bud: marijuana smoking in public isn't legal.
The Doritos were purchased with private funds from the Seattle Police Foundation.
According to the The Stranger writer Ben Livingston, the cops have generally remained pretty cool since the passage of I-502 last November. Livingston points out that police already have the ability to ticket anyone smoking ganja in public under existing public consumption laws, but that many have instead been issuing verbal warnings to public puffers.
Whitcomb has even gone so far as to announce that police won't be ticketing for public consumption at the festival.
Of course, all of this public information would logically imply that at some point they would like to enforce the laws they are working to make common knowledge among pot smokers. So, don't be surprised eventually if police use those ticket books to actually write a citation instead of just fanning your pot smoke out of their face.
The FREE and enjoyably-stoney Seattle Hempfest runs from August 16 through August 18.
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