The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 15, 2013

Seattle police of offer food for thought at pro-pot event

SEATTLE — They’re calling it “Operation Orange Fingers.” Really.

Seattle police will hand out bags of Doritos at Hempfest on Saturday.

Police department spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb confirmed the unusual duty, saying he and other officers will distribute 1-ounce bags of nacho-cheese chips with educational information affixed to them about the state’s new legal pot law.

The bags also will contain a label with a link to the department’s “Marijwhatnow” FAQ, which explains that, yes, adults are now allowed to possess up to an ounce of weed, and that, no, you can’t get back the pot that cops might have seized before voters legalized recreational weed in last November’s election.

“A lot of people still have questions about the nuances of the law and 2013 is a year very much in transition for people who enjoy pot,” Whitcomb said.

Police are having some fun with the assignment.

“Please ignore maliciously false reports that we’re giving out Bugles at @seattlehempfest. We would never, ever do that,” the department tweeted Wednesday.

Operation Orange Fingers will be funded by the private Seattle Police Foundation, Whitcomb said.

The department expects to give out just 1,000 bags of chips, Whitcomb said. That’s likely to lead to some “Dude, where’s my Doritos?” queries from the 250,000 folks expected to attend the three-day, pro-pot event this weekend at Myrtle Edwards Park on the Seattle waterfront near Belltown.

The idea is not to cure the munchies, Whitcomb said, but “to pique their curiosity and get them to go to our FAQ.”

Kidding aside, Whitcomb said police will enforce aspects of the new law at Hempfest. He said they would bust minors for consuming in public, which is a misdemeanor. And he said they would bust people dealing pot, which is a felony.

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