Seattle’s police officers will hand out Doritos to offset the munchies felt by thousands of marijuana smokers this weekend during Hempfest, and they’re hoping to do a little education on the state’s new law that legalizes marijuana use too, The Associated Press said
In a move meant to be ironic, said one police officer, the department will hand out bags of Doritos with notes attached encouraging people to visit a post on the police website that explains the new law, Initiative 502, which will go into effect Dec. 5.
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The article, “Marijwhatnow? A Guide to legal Marijuana Use In Seattle,”
lays it out: public use is not OK (except for festivals like Hempfest), driving under the influence of marijuana is not allowed and people over 21 can possess an ounce of pot as long as they have no intention of selling or giving it away.
Police have traditionally turned a blind eye to the pot smoking that goes on at Hempfest, which is in its 22nd year, AP said. Vivian McPeak, executive director of Hempfest, said that the good news on the state level is somewhat dampened by the fact that pot is illegal on the federal level.
“It's going to be the most interesting Hempfest we’ve ever had because it's going to be part victory celebration,” she told the AP. “That said, we feel it’s very important to remind everyone that as long as it's still a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it's not legal anywhere. The job's not done yet.”
The Hempfest website identifies the event as the “world’s largest annual cannabis protest rally,” and said six stages feature music and speakers while booths offer up food, arts, crafts and political information.
McPeak told the AP that the Hempfest organization also will hand out cards to attendees highlighting the fact that while marijuana may be safe for most people, issues like short-term memory loss, decreased ability to drive, and dependence may occur.
"We hope people will take it more seriously coming from us than from a traditional messenger," McPeak told the news agency.
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