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Police to hand out Doritos at Hempfest

It’s not often that we cover something outside the scope of Texas or the cannabis industry, however this change in attitude by the police in Seattle is something to take note of, especially for states on the brink of legalization.

Hempfest, the annual celebration held to celebrate the cause, will see police out in force amongst the crowds, handing out Doritos. This is all in an effort to educate people about the laws in the state. Each bag will have a website with details about the new laws.

Rather than bust people or hassle them, the police are embracing the changes and demonstrating to people around the nation, especially other officers, that cannabis consumers don’t have to be hassled and that legalization isn’t a bad thing.

The mere sight of law enforcement not breaking up the activity, and instead attempting to educate people about the new laws has an immense amount of potency when it comes to repealing prohibition elsewhere. The more of this that happens the less clout the Federal government has on the issue.

This is the exact type of thing that needs to be seen in those places to help reinforce all the existing talking points.

As many as 85,000 people are expected to attend the three day festival.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

According to the Kitsap Sun, Hempfest executive director Vivian McPeak said that despite the state-level legalization, work remains as long as pot is illegal under federal law. The event is free, but McPeak is asking attendees to contribute $10 to offset the $800,000 cost of Hempfest so it can continue next year.

“It’s going to be the most interesting Hempfest we’ve ever had because it’s going to be part victory celebration,” McPeak said. “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.”

The event will feature 117 musical acts on six stages and more than 100 speakers, not to mention 400 vendors offering informational pamphlets, colorful glass bongs, food and art.

McPeak said that to encourage the responsible use of pot, Hempfest this year will be handing out cards with marijuana “gut checks” prepared by Roger Roffman, a University of Washington School of Social Work professor and marijuana dependence expert. The cards note that while marijuana is used safely by many people, it can cause short-term memory loss, affect your ability to drive and cause dependence.

“We hope people will take it more seriously coming from us than from a traditional messenger,” McPeak said.

By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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