This is public health at its finest.
The Seattle Police Department might be the most pot-friendly police force in the country. At this weekend's Hempfest, the largest pot celebration in the world, Rain City cops will be handing out bags of Doritos to any stoner suffering from the munchies, confused about Washington's new marijuana laws, or (the SPD is hoping) some combination both.
Seattle cops aren't doing this just to feed cravings. No, this is public health at its finest: the Doritos bags will come with a sticker containing educational information, outlining the basics of Washington's new marijuana laws and explaining that while you can possess pot, you can't quite start a weed farm just yet (though you will be able to, soon enough).
Why go to these lengths? Because, explains The Stranger's Ben Livingston, "while stoners have no problem ignoring a leaflet, police recognize that it's nearly impossible to turn down a bag of Doritos." Based on anecdotal evidence, this appears to be a correct assumption about people who enjoy recreational marijuana. Livingston says that cops plan to distribute 1,000 such informational snacks, and that funding for the project came from private sources.
This is not the first time the Seattle PD has tried novel tactics to explain Washington's progressive marijuana laws. Earlier this year, it hired crime reporter Jonah Spangenthal-Lee to write a playful FAQ entitled "Marijwhatnow?" It included such helpful pointers as "You probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property)." Good to know.
Doritos may seem like a logical next step. "Distributing salty snacks at a festival celebrating hemp, I think, is deliberately ironic enough that people will accept them in good humor," police department spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb told The Stranger's Livingston. Indeed, who could resist?
This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.