Cops Satisfy Munchies with Free Doritos in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — 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.”

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.

Organizers are expecting as many as 85,000 people each day of the three-day event, which begins Friday and is the first Hempfest since voters passed Initiative 502 last fall.

The vote legalized possession of marijuana and set up a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and stores to sell taxed and regulated weed. Officials are still writing rules for the new pot industry, with sales scheduled to begin next year.

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.

And although police won’t be ticketing people for smoking in public, officers will be ensuring public safety and keeping a close eye out for intoxicated drivers leaving the event, Whitcomb said.

Brian Laoruangroch is hoping to use Hempfest to promote his fledgling business, Prohibition Brands, by rolling a joint of at least 2 pounds — an effort Hempfest’s organizers have frowned upon as not compliant with Initiative 502. Prohibition Brands hopes to obtain a marijuana processing license under the state’s new law.

“This is a big moment for me,” he said. As a pot smoker, “You kind of get an image that’s cast upon you in a negative way. For a lot of people, this is a you-don’t-have-to-hide-in-the-shadows-any-more kind of thing. You can be out in the open.”

Salt and Straw….oh, my!

Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake…..Raspberry Lemon Basil Sorbet… or the flavor I had today…the Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero….oh, my!

Salt and Straw is the awesome new ice cream store located dangerously close to our house.

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This is serious ice cream, folks, and is not for sissies!

This summer, Salt and Straw got thousands of pounds of strawberries from deep Roots Farm located in nearby Albany, OR.  The strawberries that go into their ice cream are picked and delivered the same day they use them.  All of their ice cream is as fresh as it is delicious!

My husband’s birthday was last week.  We took him to Salt and Straw and he chose the Birthday Cake and Blackberries flavor….frosting flavored ice cream with ribbons of cake and blackberry jam.  mmmmm…  The blackberry jam is extra special because it uses Evergreen Blackberries from the Willamette Valley.  These berries are pitch black in color and wonderfully sweet.  With this combo, it might as well be everyone’s birthday every day!

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How about a cup of Pear with Blue Cheese made from  delicate, sweet Oregon Trail Northwest Bartlett pears from Salem with crumbles of Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue Cheese (recently named the best in the world at a fancy competition in France) mixed throughout?   or the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate?  Woodblock is the fist bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Portland.  Salt and Straw adds in a bit of Jacobson seal salt, and then uses an old school ice cream making technique called “freckling” to suspend the chocolate in an untempered state.  Or how about the Coffee & Bourbon flavor?  This one uses Stumptown’s single-origin Sumatra coffee mixed with a little of Portland’s Holy Kakow chocolate and a lot of Burnside Bourbon from our own local Eastside Distillery.  Uh huh….It is every bit as good as it sounds.

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Yes, folks, these people take their ice cream seriously.  They even have an Arbequina Olive Oil flavor!  That’s right!  This is one of Oprah’s favorite things!  After tasting more than 50 ice creams from all over the US, the folks at Opera Magazine were absolutely blown away by this flavor.  Red Ridge Farms from here in Oregon provide a rich and spicy Arbequina Olive Oil for its unique flavor.

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Ingrid’s favorite flavor is Cinnamon snickerdoodle made of Red Ape Cinnamon from Eugene who donates part of the proceed to save the orangutans in Sumatra where the cinnamon is harvested.  Mine is the Strawberry Honey Balsamic Vinegar with Cracked Black Pepper….made with strawberries, jam and syrup from Oregon Hill Farms, Balsamic from a 5th generation bee keeper at Honeyridge Farms, and a pinch of black pepper…a little trick to bring out the fruit flavor.

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Oh, and they have merchandise, too…tee shirts…local honey…chocolate…cookies….You name it.

Salt and Straw at 3345 SE Division Street is one of 3 locales in Portland.  This ice cream is HOT!

Day #13 – FAST

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Photo a Day – AUGUST

Day #13 – FAST

© Stacy Alexander – 2013