It wasn't the first Hempfest in Seattle -- that occurred more than 20 years ago. It was, however, the first time the annual event had been held since voters in Washington state approved legalizing recreational use of marijuana. The Seattle Police Department saw the gathering as a way to reach out and educate those participating in the festivities by passing out bags of Doritos with the "Dos and Don'ts of I-502."

Although still illegal under federal regulations, and public use of marijuana under Washington's new law is punishable by a $103 ticket, uniformed SPD officers handed out more than 1,000 bags of munchies to the near 250,000 people in attendance instead of citations. The bags of nacho cheese Doritos dealt out included a message to those celebrating cannabis. Within minutes, hundreds of bags with a friendly, but very clear, message were passed out.

The sticker slapped on the bag warns it "is not a lawyer and cannot provide legal advice." It further reads:

Hempfesters! We thought you might be hungry. We also thought now might be a good time for a refresher on the do’s and don’ts of I-502. The don’ts: "Don't drive while high. Don’t give, sell, or shotgun weed to people under 21. Don't use pot in public. You could be cited but we'd rather give you a warning. The do’s: “Do listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a reasonable volume. Do enjoy Hempfest. Remember: respect your fellow voters and familiarize yourself with the rules of I-502 at seattle.gov/police/mariwhatnow <3, SPD

The annual rally also included craft vendors, live music, food booths, and speakers featuring pro-legalization lawyers explaining the law. According to Vivian McPeak, Hempfest's executive director, the rally cost around $800,000 and he asked festival-goers to make a voluntary $10 contribution to help offset the $800,000 cost to run the event.


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