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Seattle Cops Will Hand Out Munchies at Hempfest

August 16, 2013
Seattle Hempfest
Core staff members of Hempfest Seattle (image: Hempfest Seattle)

Seattle police said they will spread information on Washington state's marijuana legalization law via stickers on bags of chips at this weekend's Hempfest.

The Seattle Police Department said officers will be at Hempfest, billed as the world's largest marijuana rally, to distribute bags of chips bearing stickers pointing the recipients toward the department's "Mariwhatnow?" FAQ on the state's marijuana legalization law, weekly Seattle newspaper The Stranger reported Thursday.

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

Whitcomb said the FAQ is aimed at informing marijuana smokers that while they are allowed to possess as much as an ounce of cannabis, the law still forbids growing and selling the plant without licenses, which the state plans to begin issuing later this year. He said police will not issue citations during the festival for people violating the provision of the law preventing public smoking.

He said police have been following a policy of warning public marijuana smokers instead of issuing tickets.

"We've said all along that this is a momentous period in our history. We only get to do it once," Whitcomb said. "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."

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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