Seattle Police trade barbs with Stephen Colbert over pot and Doritos

The Seattle Police Department's new found tongue-in-cheekiness is on full display again thanks to some shots across the bow from Stephen Colbert.

Colbert took aim at the SPD's highly-publicized distribution of Doritos at last summer's Hempfest in a segment lambasting America's supposed "surrender" in the war on drugs.

The chips handed out by Seattle cops featured fun stickers aimed at educating pot smokers about the state's new marijuana laws and included warnings about driving, using in public, and not listening to Pink Floyd too loudly.

"Police should not be encouraging drug use," said Colbert in Tuesday night's segment. "And you can not listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a reasonable volume. You miss all the depth when the song Money switches from 7/4 to 4/4 and Gilmour lays down a sick solo based upon the pentatonic scale, is what I'm told by one of my editors."

SPD's media relations department fired back a faux-commentary of its own in an open letter to Colbert and his TV nation.

"Unfortunately, this segment was rife with errors—understandable given that your program airs during a late evening hour, typically the domain of infomercial watchers, graffiti vandals and car prowlers.

As such, we now believe it is necessary for our department to address some of the more egregious 'Truthiness' contained in your report, such as your assertion that America is 'surrendering in the war on drugs' and that police in Seattle are 'encouraging drug use.'"

While the letter calls attention to some of the department's serious efforts at education and outreach, it matches Colbert joke for joke.

"You also claimed our department has not done enough to keep 'medical-grade dispensary dank away from kids,' and has failed to address the serious side effects of marijuana, such as short-term memory loss.

We simply cannot remember a time we were more incensed by such a blatant mischaracterization of our department. We continue to investigate the sale of marijuana to minors, and we certainly do not encourage the use of silly branding like 'Bubba Kush' and 'Alien Dog.' If it were up to us, pot brands would have names like 'Remember to Call Your Mother' and 'You Don't Want to Grow Up to Be a Drummer, Do You?'"

The coup de grace comes in the closing, in response to Colbert's mock questioning about whether marijuana decriminalization will provide a much-needed boost in tax revenue.

"We can confirm that Initiative 502 has been a boon for our local restaurant industry. Currently, you have to get on a three-month-long waiting list just to order a pizza."

Well played by the police from the state Colbert dubbed "Washing-Chong."


Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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