August 15, 2013

Stoner Swag

Everyone loves swag, me included.  Every January I look forward to the Fort Worth Stock Show where I troll the aisles of several exhibit halls, eyeing new cars, tractors, livestock apparatus, and western wear.  There are always samples to try and giveaway swag to fill a plastic tote bag.  My favorite is the Texas DPS booth.  They always give away bluebonnet seeds, along with various safe driving paraphernalia.  Which makes this seem all the more foreign to me:
A few things will be different at this year's Hempfest, the 22-year-old summer "protestival" on Seattle's waterfront where tens of thousands of revelers gather to use dope openly, listen to music and gaze at the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
The haze of pot smoke might smell a little more like victory, after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana use by adults over 21. Having won at the state level, speakers will concentrate on the reform of federal marijuana laws.
Oh, and the Seattle police - who have long turned a lenient eye on Hempfest tokers - don't plan to be writing tickets or making arrests. They'll be busy handing out Doritos.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, department spokesman and junk-food-dispenser-in-chief. "It's meant to be ironic. The idea of police passing out Doritos at a festival that celebrates pot, we're sure, is going to generate some buzz."
I got news, Sgt Whitcomb - it sure ain't your Doritos generating a buzz.
The idea isn't just to satisfy some munchies. The department has affixed labels to 1,000 bags of Doritos urging people to check out a question-and-answer post on its website, titled "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle." It explains some of the nuances of Washington's law: that adults can possess up to an ounce but can't sell it or give it away, that driving under the influence of pot is illegal, and that - festivals aside - public use is illegal.
The irony, it burns.  The police will be handing out stereotypical stoner munchie food with a link to the laws governing pot's legal use, at an event where they will be turning a blind eye to thousands of people openly violating said law.

85,000 people are expected for the event, and 200 deep-breathing police officers who aren't on the next week's random drug screen are scheduled for Doritos duty.*


*I made that last bit up.

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