In what promises to be one of the most, uh, buzz-worthy uses of a branded snack in ages, the Seattle Police Department will be distributing Doritos at the Seattle edition of Hempfest this weekend. Though The Seattle Times wryly titled its report on the educational outreach effort "Seattle cops to deal Doritos and information at Hempfest," the munchies will actually be freebies -- 1,000 bags of the nacho-cheese chips "with educational information affixed to them about the state's new legal pot law," according to the paper, plus a label pointing Hempfest attendees to the department's hilariously named Marijwhatnow FAQ.
Per that FAQ: "It is not a violation of state law for adults over 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana" -- which is why one-ounce bags of Doritos were selected for the outreach.
The Seattle PD's charm initiative/media stunt also includes this rather awesome tweet from yesterday:
Please ignore maliciously false reports that we're giving out Bugles at @seattlehempfest .We would never, ever do that.— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) August 14, 2013
That led to this exchange with Seattleite Jay Couey:
@Jaycouey Nobody panic! We're bringing Doritos! And I-502 literature!— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) August 14, 2013
I-502 refers to Washington Initiative 502, which led to marijuana legalization.
Doritos, a PepsiCo brand, is apparently not in on Operation Orange Fingers (yes, they're really calling it that); the Doritos distribution is being funded by a private support/awareness group, the Seattle Police Foundation.
I've reached out to PepsiCo for comment and will update when I hear back.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.