The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 15, 2013

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

(Continued)

Under the new law, only state-licensed stores can sell pot.

Because it’s still illegal to consume pot in public, Whitcomb said, officers will give warnings to adults they encounter getting high at Hempfest.

That’s not to say people should expect a “task force of undercover officers to infiltrate Hempfest,” he said.

But minors “can expect enforcement,” he said, because “it’s a big deal.”

Some officers don’t even want to wade into Hempfest, Whitcomb said, because they’re concerned about breathing in secondhand smoke and testing positive for pot.

Despite the state law, Seattle officers can’t use pot off-duty because marijuana use remains a federal violation and cops take an oath to uphold federal law, he said.

But officers would respond to any emergency, need or request for services, he said.

Whitcomb will speak about the department’s pot policies from Hempfest’s main stage Saturday at 2:50 p.m.

“The much-coveted 4:20 spot had gone to someone else,” he said.

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