Medical marijuana community blood drive links Bonfils, Twirling Hippy

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Medical marijuana users: Colorado again wants your blood.

But this time, it's okay to give it up, because Twirling Hippy Confections owner Jessica LeRoux has organized the first Medical Cannabis Community Blood Drive through Bonfils.

LeRoux is hoping the medical marijuana community -- patients, caregivers, MMC owners and operators -- can be the largest donors this summer.

The two-week drive kicks off July 17. All you need to do is go to a Bonfils location and identify yourself as a member of the drive with the code 7165. LeRoux is also holding a kickoff breakfast at 7:30 a.m. that morning at Great Lawn Park, 1101 Yosemite, just 300 yards from a Bonfils branch.

LeRoux says the drive is partly in response to the increased need in the summer months for donated blood -- in large part due to increased traffic accidents. But she says the ulterior motive is to make a statement to law enforcement groups that have tried to pin any rise in traffic accidents on increased medical marijuana use in Colorado.

"Not only do the statistics not back those claims up, but it is my intent to show that the cannabis community can do much to offset all traffic accidents via voluntarily donating blood to help ensure blood is available when it is needed, and by being one of the largest donor drives of the summer if we all participate," LeRoux says.

And yes, you can be a medical marijuana user (or just a regular old toker) and still donate. Just don't show up with beady red eyes, resin stains on your lips and smoke still fuming from your nose and you should be good to go. Unlike some organizations, Bonfils doesn't care about your marijuana use.

According to Bonfils spokeswoman Dianna Hemphill, "Bonfils Blood Center, as is the case with many other blood centers across the industry, does not defer donors for marijuana use unless the donor is visibly impaired or has another condition for which he/she is using medical marijuana such as cancer that would preclude him/her from donation."

Also keep in mind that giving up a quart pint of blood makes some people very lightheaded for a while afterwards, which LeRoux says patients should plan for just in case. "I will strongly warn potential donors to keep their nanograms in check, because donating blood makes you woozy enough. And we don't need anybody getting a THC DUI as thanks for their good deeds."

If you've still got questions about whether or not you should be giving blood, you can check out Bonfils "Am I Eligible to Donate?" page. Donations can be made at any of the seven Bonfils locations, as well as their mobile blood centers. Anyone looking to book a group donation should call 303-363-2300 and make an appointment.

More from our Marijuana archive: "MMJ stash at Auraria could be country's biggest collection of marijuana magazines" and "Statewide dispensary moratorium ends, new applications slow to come in."

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