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

“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 “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.



  1. Anonymous on

    I’m sure a number of growers use the coffee grounds to grow medicine. Cannabis is great, corporate activity is not.

  2. Brian Kerr on

    I don’t usually reply to people who don’t use there names, but here goes.

    Dealers want to maintain Prohibition because it keeps the price of weed much higher than it would be in a legal market. Dealers will sell to any one at any age because they are criminals. Lets take the market away from them. Lets legalize Cannabis.

  3. fishcreekbob on

    got my vote

  4. Anonymous on

    They did this and had taken the risk of getting caught? one word spell your coffee brand…GREED! oh by the way see if your dealer, deals with you once he reads how much you love star bucks??


    I love a Starbucks with my morning wake and bake i cant see them doing this the cops just put them on this site that has vanished once Starbucks found out.why would they shoot them selves in the foot?

  6. Samson on

    We should boycott them anyway. Seems to be a bit of uncertainty or doubt…….and Cannabis activists/consumers/producers can’t afford to give that benefit( of doubt).

    Voting is cool and all…..but you can only cast your vote ONCE on an issue……where as Boycotting is something that can be practiced daily.
    Not only that; but your vote– or Opinion — is not as valueable( to them anyway) as Boycott– which involves giving MONEY; or lack of giving $$…..any Q’s?????

  7. Cremater on

    It doesn’t matter what they say. Really it doesn’t. THere is a bit of shenannigans going on with this issue, and if you can’t sort it out beyond a “he said, she said” type argument then you must simply end the conversation.

    Besides, why not boycott them? They charge ALOT for thier coffee and products comparitively speaking. A person can get better coffee from most other coffee houses or make it at home themselves if they take the time to order or purchase roasted beans and the proper coffee making equipment.

    SO why would you spend your money on over priced, inferior products (compared to other places), when you could do it more cheaply in other ways.

    Maybe even add this to the boycott manafesto…

    “we are going to boycott Starbucks for suspicion of contributing to an anti-drug organization. But since you deny sponsoring that organization and the proof that we had of your doing so has been suspiciously removed from the public view, we will continue the boycott until such time as you sponsor and organization such as LEAP, MPP, SAFER and so forth with “x” amount of dollars and that is publicly disclosed”

    Try that on for size.

  8. Anonymous on

    Don’t they have to contact higher management to have local sponsorships approved? Would seem weird if they didn’t.

  9. UncleBob100 on

    The will of the people shall prevail. This god-given miracle herb Cannabis will be legalized sooner or later, one way or another. Big business can’t resist the profits and the gov’t won’t turn down the tax revenue. Its time for the so called legal system to stop persecuting the populace and turn to fighting real crime. Maybe then people will start to respect the police and court system a little more if they stop their insane cash grab on a phoney prohibition of the blessed plant.

  10. Anonymous on

    Where is this list? if one does not exist it should.