Seattle Cops to Hand Out Free Chips at "Hempfest"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 15 2013 9:19 AM

The Seattle Police Have a New Drug-Education Tool: Doritos!

Doritos
Seattle cops will be handing out bags of chips at this weekend's Hempfest

Photo courtesy of PepsiCo

The Stranger brings us news of the Seattle PD's rather clever educational outreach plan for this weekend's Hempfest in Seattle, a gathering billed by organizers as the world's largest pro-pot rally:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

[T]he Seattle Police Department is planning to distribute information to Hempfest attendees about the state's new legalization law—on stickers attached to bags of chips. Seriously. ...
The labels on the snack-sized bags will direct festival attendees to the SPD's post-legalization FAQ titled "Marijwhatnow?" which went viral last November, reminding citizens that possessing up to an ounce of pot is allowed, but selling and growing the stuff remains illegal (until licenses are issued later this year by the state).
With funding for the project coming entirely from the privately run Seattle Police Foundation, police say they plan to distribute about 1,000 bags of Doritos over the weekend.
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Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a spokesman for the department, had this to say about the plan: "Distributing salty snacks at a festival celebrating hemp, I think, is deliberately ironic enough that people will accept them in good humor." With more than 200,000 pot enthusiasts expected to show during the three-day festival, there won't be nearly enough free snacks to go around. Still, the free press and general good will the idea is bringing the department is no doubt helping to spread its message beyond those lucky enough to land a free bag of Cool Ranch chips this weekend.

Go check out the department's relatively hilarious "Marijwhatnow?" FAQ here—by far my favorite question concerns whether it's legal to smoke pot at a magic show—or head on over to the Stranger for more on the outreach effort in specific and the Seattle PD's enforcement policies in general.

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