Seattle has always been what you might call a hippy city. The largest weed ‘festival’ in North America, Hemp Fest, started in Seattle in 1991. In 1998 medical marijuana was passed into law. Then it 2003 Initiative 75 was passed making marijuana arrests a low priority. The combination of quirky neighborhoods and liberal city officials has brought us to a sort of time warp.
This must be what the 70’s were like. But now, the cops are in on it. In front of the Space Needle on Dec. 5 at midnight, Seattle’s new marijuana culture stepped forward. And not only the smokers but the whole city. SPD issued an order not to hand out any tickets for publicly smoking marijuana at this time. Not only did the city agree to not take action, they toke a new action. SPD spokesperson Jonah Spangenthal-Lee;
“The department’s going to give you a generous grace period to help you adjust to this brave, new, and maybe kinda stoned world we live in.
The police department’s website does explain that it (eventually?) will cite people for smoking in public by referring to the existing open container and public intoxication liquor laws. SPD’s advice for you?
“The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”
Encouraging indoor smoking, the department posted this picture.
As if all this isn’t enough to make me feel downright psychedelic, I tune further into the vibe. Like any good Seattleite, I listen to NPR. KUOW to be specific, Seattle’s local radio-station in the U District.
The featured program at around 11am is…you guessed it… Cooking with Cannabis: Stirring the Pot. And without so much of a snicker, high brow local and national chefs instructed on how to enjoy pot in our food. Naturally, the conversation turned to the enjoyment of all this food and if there might be some sort of marijuana revolution going on in Seattle. Seattle area chef, Justin Branstad;
“…It’s not about creating a state for people to go crazy it’s about creating enough space for people to be themselves. And to have the opportunity to create a nice meal and enjoy marijuana. We don’t have to speak about it now as ‘oh, I’m medicated’. No, I’m recreationally using it and I’m enjoying it.”
So come out of your houses. Rise from the social conformity Seattle, we are ready for you.
Video posted on the SPD website, in an article explaining the new laws.