Top ten Westword marijuana news stories of 2011

Page 3 of 4

6. Medical marijuana: Donor complaints lead food bank to abandon dispensary pot-for-food drive

Being a community dispensary, Urban Cannabis wanted to support those less fortunate around them by donating 2,000 pounds of food to Metro CareRing, a local food bank. But after Metro CareRing received calls from a few conservative "faith" groups that were incensed by the group pairing up with what they no doubt viewed as evil, sinful drug peddlers, the organization decided to sever all ties with Urban Cannabis.

The move baffled anyone with anyone with an ounce of sense, especially considering that metro-area food banks often struggle for donations during the spring and what many volunteer groups consider the off-season for donations due to the lack of major holidays. Urban Cannabis eventually found a home for their canned goods with A Community Taking a Stand.

5. Med. marijuana laws = 9 percent traffic-death decline, 5 percent beer-sales dip, study finds

Two professors from Montana and Colorado took a look at the issue -- both being from medical marijuana states -- and found that alcohol consumption and highway deaths from booze dipped from 1990 to 2009 in the thirteen medical marijuana states they surveyed. While they don't make the direct correlation between more people choosing ganja over booze, some say it was implied in the study itself.

This story was so popular because it showed what marijuana users have known for a long time: driving stoned doesn't necessarily equate to more dangerous roadways.

4. Medical marijuana: Coca-Cola says it won't put Coke machines in dispensaries, then backtracks. After an Altitude Wellness Center manager called to have their soda machine restocked, she was told "Coca-Cola has made an internal decision not to place equipment at Marijuana dispensaries." In response to that, AWC sent out emails saying "We'd be remiss if we didn't urge everyone that is involved in MMJ to boycott Coca-Cola, by not purchasing it in grocery stores and by refusing it at fast food places and movie theatres [sic.] or anywhere else Coca-Cola has a presence... IF Coke doesn't need us, do we really need Coke?"

A few days later, Coke retracted their statement and issued an apology to AWC. Maybe the thought of several hundred thousand stoners boycotting their product all at once hit them, or maybe they just realized that Coke goes great with the munchies.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes