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Monday, August 26, 2013

Washington Hempfest Will Hand Out Doritos

Seattle Police Department
On the Federal level, marijuana is still an illegal drug for which one can be arrested and even incarcerated: however, in Colorado and Washington the drug has been deemed legal as long as state laws are abided. With legalization comes new rules that will hopefully keep the drug from being abused more than it already has been; we need to remember that for over 70 years the marijuana prohibition created an underworld worth billions of dollars. As liberal states move towards acceptance of the drug, a lot of pressure has been put on the law enforcement to "police" it according to the new laws.

In Washington, “Hempfest,” the state’s annual marijuana festival, will have to adapt to the new changes this year, according to the Associated Press. The 22-year old event, which sees upwards of 85,000 participants over the three-day event in Seattle, will have some unexpected changes. This year’s speakers will focus mainly on reform of federal marijuana laws.

In the past, Seattle police, vigilantly wrote possession tickets and made arrests, this year they will have a different task at hand. Police officers will be handing out Doritos' bags that will have labels directing people to the Seattle Police Department website post, “Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle,” rather than tickets.

The police guide explains the new rules regarding marijuana, such as, adults can possess up to an ounce of marijuana but cannot sell it or give it away or use the drug in public. The site emphasizes that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

“It’s going to be the most interesting Hempfest we’ve ever had because it’s going to be part victory celebration,” said the festival’s Executive Director Vivian McPeak. “That said, we feel it’s very important to remind everyone that as long as it’s still a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it’s not legal anywhere. The job’s not done yet.”

It is important to remember that while the drug is being treated in a more enlightened way, marijuana still has the potential for abuse and can lead to negative side-effects. Keeping it away from the developing minds of children should be of the utmost importance.

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