Friday marked opening day of the annual Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center.
This year police have a reminder for those going to the festival: if you smoke pot, you could be fined and asked to leave.
“Well we were just walking past some of the stands and we could smell marijuana and all the kids looked back at me and I was like, ‘just keep walking,'” said Sarah Thompson, who was a chaperone for a group of middle school girls.
Seattle Center posted also posted a sign as a reminder to anyone thinking of smoking marijuana at the festival that while it’s legal in your private residence, it’s still illegal to consume marijuana in public.
“Last year, I think I saw someone once smoking marijuana,” said Rozzy Czaja of Seattle. ” But, I haven’t seen anything so far this year and it’s really not bothering me or much of a problem.”
“It’s like a bottle of beer. I guess I feel like it is what it is,” said Brian Ray.
But, Seattle Police don’t take the issue as lightly and released this statement:
Officers will be patrolling Folklife Festival to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. And while marijuana may be generally legal for adults to possess, it is still a violation to smoke or consume marijuana in public. Anyone smoking marijuana or eating marijuana infused products may be asked to leave and could receive a $27 fine.
“I wouldn’t personally light up a joint out here, and I think people need to think it through a little bit more,” said Folklife Festival vendor Jacob Hoium.
The Northwest Folklife Festival runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.