Seattle Center hosted an unofficial mini-Hempfest Thursday as marijuana smokers turned out to celebrate their new freedoms. A hundred or so people gathered around the International Fountain, smoking pot. A few of them spoke to KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld.
Seinfeld: “What’s your name?"
Seinfeld: "And why did you decide to come out here to Seattle Center tonight"
Brian: "I saw on Facebook that there were going to be a bunch of people down here doing it and it sounded like fun to me."
Jill: "I definitely believe its something that needed to happen, and its phenomenal to see that people are not going to jail for this anymore, at least in Washington state."
John: "Definitely, it is a little bit of a surreal feeling."
Ward: "I'm Spencer Ward. It feels a little weird to be out in public and have it be so okay, with news reporters and everyone else.”
Those were pot-smokers, out in the open at Seattle Center last night – on the first day of legalized marijuana. The voter-approved law does not allow consuming in the public, only in private. But police in Seattle say they’re not enforcing the rules against public consumption, at least for the first month or so. The initiative defined public smoking as an infraction like speeding or jaywalking, and other police departments say it’s up to individual officers whether to write a ticket or just give a warning.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio