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Seattle’s first Hempfest after legalization

A group of teenaged boys look over a display of glass pipes at the first day of Hempfest, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Seattle. Thousands packed the Seattle waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival — an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado last fall. Hempfest was expected to draw as many as 85,000 people per day. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle’s Hempfest turned out exactly as expected, plenty of pot being passed around and the cops’ Doritos were a big hit.

“Best munchy food, man,” said one attendee.

“The Seattle cops are pretty cool,” said another.

It seemed like a nearly unanimous verdict after Seattle Police showed up with boxes full of chips at Hempfest over the weekend. Attached to the bags were informational stickers about the new recreational pot law.

The only people who didn’t like the stunt were those who didn’t get any, according to Seattle Police Sergeant Sean Whitcomb.

“There’s some officers who were really irritate with SPD Public Affairs because there weren’t enough Doritos. But, we wanted to get a conversation going,” said Whitcomb.

It certainly did. From the local news stations to national media, word of the Seattle Police Department’s Doritos stunt spread quickly. Whitcomb said that’s okay with him.

“I don’t necessarily want us to be the police department that’s forever linked to that particular treat, but there’s certainly worse things,” said Whitcomb.

The Seattle Police Foundation came up with the $260 for 1,000 bags, but that didn’t last long with about a quarter million people hitting Hempfest over the three days.

As expected, there were a lot of dreadlocks, Tye-dyed T-shirts, and peasant skirts.

The crowd was largely there to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and to protest the federal laws that still make pot illegal, but there were a few people who stuck out.

About the Author

Kim Shepard

Kim Shepard is a news anchor and reporter for KIRO Radio and the office optimist. She's energetic, quick to laugh and has a positive outlook on life.


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