Duuude! Seattle police to hand out Doritos at Hempfest

SEATTLE -- Think you're going to get the munchies while at Seattle's Hempfest this weekend? Perhaps seek out a Seattle Police officer.

SPD officers are going to be at the annual festival, but instead of cracking down on pot smokers, they'll be handing out 1,000 bags of Doritos.

"Seattle Police public affairs knew that we wanted to continue our education campaign regarding (legalizing marijuana initiative) I-502," said SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb. "There's still a lot of confusion in Seattle and the rest of the state about what's allowed and what isn't; what the rules are and what's going to get you in trouble with the police."

Washington voters passed I-502 last November, joining Colorado as the only states to legalize marijuana use.

Whitcomb says they figured Hempfest was the perfect opportunity to get the word out on what's changed.

"A brainstorming session came up with the idea of passing out Doritos to festival goers and on each little bag is going to be a label that gives people some basic information and directions back to our FAQ on I-502, 'MarjiWhatNow'."

The Seattle Police Foundation came up with the $260 for the 1,000 1-ounce bags of the chips.

"We chose Doritos because they're iconic as a delicious snack for people who might enjoy pot," Whitcomb said. "The goal's not to feed people and I know we're going to run out but at the same time we want people to know what the rules are, respect the vote and follow the law."

Whitcomb says the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

"I-502 is a landmark -- really changes the way we view marijuana in our society," Whitcomb said. "We are not taking a heavy hand, but we want people to be absolutely clear and we want minors to know it's not at all all right for them to consume pot. It's not OK to drive under the influence of anything, marijuana included, and distribution is still a felony."

He says SPD has yet to write a ticket for violating I-502, although he anticipates it will happen some day in the future.

"It will be preceded with a warning," Whitcomb said. "We will give adults violating the ordinance a warning to stop first."

Whitcomb says he'll be out there Saturday morning with fellow public affairs officers handing out the chips. He says if you want one, don't delay.

"I've been assured that with this particular crowd, they won't last long," Whitcomb laughed.