Portland police plan to let security staff at this weekend's Blues Festival deal with public pot use.

Portland police plan to let security staff at this weekend’s Blues Festival deal with public pot use.

Sam Churchill/Flickr

Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival this weekend is the first large public gathering since recreational marijuana became legal in Oregon.

The question is: How are police dealing with people smoking marijuana in the open?

Portland Police Sergeant Pete Simpson says the focus will be on public safety, not writing tickets, “We are relying on the security that’s hired by the event to manage the event appropriately,” he said. 

“And for folks that are there that are concerned about it, we’re asking them to contact security and have them address it appropriately. We don’t want people calling 911. These are not emergency situations. If someone is driving a car [while] smoking, that’s a different story.”

Simpson says officers can write tickets for public pot smoking. The fine varies from about $260 to $1,000.