Doritos Giveaway Earns High Marks at Hempfest

Police gave away bags of Doritos at Seattle Hempfest on Saturday. (Doug McVay)

The cheeky message affixed to Doritos bags given away at Hempfest by Seattle police reminds hungry stoners that "the contents of this package are as delicious as they appear."

The idea was to provide a "refresher on the Do's and Don'ts of I-502," the ballot initiative that legalized marijuana in Washington State in November.

Among the Do's: "Listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a reasonable volume."

Forbes interviewed the man responsible for the Doritos campaign, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee.

Forbes: How did Doritos win out?

JSL: We settled on Doritos pretty quickly, and then debated the merits of Cool Ranch vs. Nacho Cheese. Doritos seemed like a classic late-night snack. Something people would want to have, and something we could easily and inexpensively get. It just seemed right.


Forbes: Did you reach out to Doritos before the announcement? Were they involved in the process at all? Or have you heard from them?

JSL: They called us after this all blew up. We were already pretty far down the road at that point, but it was nice to see that our tweets had made it that far.

Forbes: Are they concerned at all about the association with marijuana?

JSL: Doritos makes taco shells for Taco Bell, which pretty much exclusively caters to the stoned-and-up-late-crowd at this point, so I don’t think so.

Forbes: Who is paying for the one thousand bags? Is that my tax money at work feeding stoners?

JSL: The Seattle Police Foundation - a non-profit which does a lot of great work with the SPD.

Forbes: What do you expect the reaction from the stoners to be?

JSL: I think we just hope people - or, well, people who use marijuana, those who don’t, those who might once there are state-licensed shops around - see what we’re putting out, see that we’re trying to be as up front with information about the laws, and thus make good decisions accordingly. We're trying to engage with people in a funny wink-wink, nudge-nudge way, but the information we’re putting out is important. It’s gotten a ton of attention, which is great.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.