Cops to distribute bags of chips at hempfest rally


As thousands of stoners prepare to convene at the world's largest pot rally this weekend, the 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.

"Distributing salty snacks at a festival celebrating hemp, I think, is deliberately ironic enough that people will accept them in good humor," says police department spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb. "We want to make sure people learn the rules and that they respect the vote."

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.

The SPD isn't just being progressive by national political standards—the cops in Seattle are more progressive than the rest of city government. The city council and city attorney are currently focused on crafting a new municipal citation for public pot smoking, despite the fact that cops can already cite people for public consumption under state law. But instead of issuing tickets, the SPD has been warning people getting high in public that they can be ticketed—the state has a form officers can use—but has only been asking violators to extinguish their pot. Police say this has remedied the situation without handing out citations.

In that vein, Whitcomb confirms that the "spirit of Initiative 502" will govern enforcement at Hempfest this year, and police will not issue tickets for public toking.

"We've said all along that this is a momentous period in our history. We only get to do it once," says Whitcomb. "Our department has taken a leadership role in public education, and it's a responsibility we are taking very seriously. We are not looking to have a heavy hand when it comes to enforcement. That said, the rules are the rules, and we want people to voluntarily comply with them."

Will cops give out tickets instead of snacks at next year's Hempfest? Whitcomb doubts it, saying the department is guided by a voter-enacted city ordinance from 2003 that deprioritized marijuana enforcement, adding, "It's not as if we get a lot of complaints about it."

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Recent Comments »

darthballs site profile image  

8/16/13 2:42 AM by darthballs

Make it walking tacos and im in.

hammerhurler site profile image  

8/16/13 2:40 AM by hammerhurler

Fucking LOL @ "K whoa la"! VTFU!

ima zombie site profile image  

8/16/13 2:08 AM by ima zombie

1000 bags?Those will be gone in 2 hours, need more

Hessian site profile image  

8/16/13 1:06 AM by Hessian

I am all for more Americans chilling out.Shit the people deserve some crumbs. It helps the war on drugs to be seen as the joke it is in other countries that the US has forced to keep things illegal.

Tiresias site profile image  

8/15/13 5:52 PM by Tiresias

  I already explained how your reasoning is (likely) biased.  And you are deflecting from what I am asking you.   You draw conclusions about cops as a whole by focusing only on negative incidents.  This is selection bias.  Whether or not "one incident of police abuse is too many" is a separate question, and that is not what I am addressing.  In the same way, if I said we should kill all ugly guitar players from Florida, and I pointed to a few examples of such guitar players that were awful criminals, and concluded that all such people were awful criminals, you would rightly accuse me of selection bias.  The fact that "one creepy horrible ugly Florida guitar criminal is too many!" wouldn't change the fact that it would be wrong to judge them all based on a few.  Right? So please stop deflecting from what I am talking about.  You have the  opportunity now to gracefully concede a point for the first time ever, to my knowledge.  I look forward to it.

EVILYOSHIDA site profile image  

8/15/13 5:45 PM by EVILYOSHIDA

how is this positive?they know the people are angry and disillusioned with the govt.So they will encourage more drug use. that's why all this stuff is being legalized while basic freedoms are getting clamped down upon.MJ desensitizes people to the nature of reality. it "chills" people out.

angryinch site profile image  

8/15/13 5:39 PM by angryinch

Who says my reasoning is biased?  Again, ONE single incident of police abuse or misconduct is too many.  The fact that there are thousands upon thousands and most of them end up with zero sanctions against the cop is, dare I say, proof, that the system is corrupt from the top down and from the bottom up and is designed to protect and in many cases encourage misconduct and illegal/unethical behavior.  It also shows that most cops are complicit with this behavior from their fellow cops, thereby making them just as bad.   Why don't cops arrest their fellow cops when their fellow cops pull illegal and unethical shit?  The answer is obvious.  Yes, there are a few cops that speak out but the vast majority do not.   If you want to talk about numbers and statistics, there are many more documented cases of cops behaving unethically than there are of their fellow cops arresting the unethical ones.   The numbers are strongly on my side, unfortunately, and show that if anyone is guilty of selection bias, it's the cop worshippers.  

Tiresias site profile image  

8/15/13 5:28 PM by Tiresias

Why would biased reasoning ever be OK? And that has nothing to do with the victims.  What matters to victims is the particular occurrences that victimized them-- which, again, is precisely what your selection bias is emphasizing in drawing conclusions from them about cops as a whole.

Hessian site profile image  

8/15/13 5:24 PM by Hessian

This is one of the most positive news stories I have read in a while concerning the US.Have a good Hemp day Seattle.

NorthernHospitality site profile image  

8/15/13 5:19 PM by NorthernHospitality

* lights joint*