Starbucks Denies Funding Anti-Marijuana Group

In the wake of a threatened nationwide boycott by cannabis consumers, coffee giant Starbucks has denied funding an anti-marijuana group.

I hope the Seattle-based company is telling the truth. It would break my heart to know that Starbucks was working against the interests of one of its biggest consumer bases.

One would certainly hope that a progressive-leaning, forward-thinking company, based in THC-attle, of all places, would know better than to insult its own loyal customers this way.

On Thursday, a pro-pot group held a news conference in front of a Denver Starbucks to draw attention to what it called ties between the company and the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, reports Chris Grygiel of SeattlePI.com.

“It’s no surprise that law enforcement organizations and their leaders — whose jobs are dependent on maintaining the war on marijuana — are lobbying to kill state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Mason Tvert, head of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER).

“But Starbucks and other companies’ funding of this war should strike any marijuana consumer or reform supporter as truly appalling,” Tvert said. “It’s time to stand up and send them all a message.”

Starbucks, though, says it’s a tempest in a tea- er, coffee-pot.

The company does not provide financial support to the anti-marijuana law enforcement group in Colorado, Starbucks said in an official statement.

“This organization is apparently targeting us because a local law enforcement organization in Colorado posted our logo on their website,” the Starbucks statement said. “Starbucks has not taken a position on their issue.”

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women of local law enforcement,” the company said. “However, we have not sponsored this particular organization through our foundation. It is up to the discretion of our local teams to support those groups that are relevant in their neighborhoods. Our stores often support organizations in their community by donating coffee for their events.”

The Colorado Drug Investigators Association website, which reportedly listed other national and local companies besides Starbucks as backers, is no longer working.

“This website has been disabled by its owner,” a message reads at www.cdiausa.org. “Please check back later.”

The CDIA, which seeks to overturn Colorado’s constitutional amendment allowing medical use of marijuana, had listed Starbucks as a sponsor on its website, alongside such vendors as Glock handguns and Point Blank Body Armor.

Tvert said he found it “odd” that the CDIA’s website was curiously taken down an hour before his noon press conference in front of Starbucks’ 300 East 6th Avenue branch in Denver.

According to SAFER outreach director Eve Anns, the CDIA site featured skull-and-crossbones graphics and a Grim Reaper rappelling from a helicopter, declaring “Death On Drugs.”

“Law enforcement is an industry like any other, and the decriminalization of marijuana threatens part of that industry,” Tvert said. He added that regulation of marijuana poses a conflict of interest for drug enforcement agencies.

“Law enforcement groups are not motivated by maintaining public safety or developing a workable system of medical marijuana regulation,” Tvert said. “They are motivated by one thing — job security.”

– Article from Toke of the Town.


Starbucks Off Medical Marijuana Advocates’ “Naughty” List

by Caleb Hannan, Seattle Weekly

Last week, SAFER, a Colorado-based medical marijuana advocacy group, called for a national boycott of Starbucks after the coffee roaster’s logo showed up on website of a group that opposes drug reforms.

Not much is known about the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA). Especially since its website has since been disabled. But what we do know is that CDIA is a non-profit whose board is filled with members of drug task forces. And, according to SAFER head Mason Tvert, it’s also lobbying to bring about the demise of Colorado’s medical marijuana laws.

So how does Starbucks fit into this? That too is unclear.

Starbucks was just one of many local and national companies whose logo was on CDIA’s website. (Also included: The North Face and Enterprise-Rent-a-Car.) Tvert and SAFER, being whores for attention as all good advocacy groups are, wisely focused on the Seattle-based company because it was the most well-known.

But what Starbucks, or any of those other brands, did for CDIA isn’t really clear. According to Starbucks HQ, no money was involved. So most likely, as Tvert surmises, the “sponsorship” CDIA bragged about probably came down to a couple free lattes handed out at one or two stores.

Either way, it’s nothing but a minor brew-ha-ha. But more evidence that we’ve now entered an (amazing) alternate dimension, where speaking out against pot actually gets you more bad PR than speaking out for it.

– Article from Seattle Weekly.

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