Cafe Society

Food bank turns down food! Were the cans tainted by cannabis?

The pot-for-food campaign seemed like such a smart idea to do some good and get some attention: Urban Cannabis, a medical marijuana dispensary on South Downing Street, would give away pre-rolled joints in exchange for customers donating canned goods to local food banks. Between March 1 and April 20 (a date not chosen by coincidence), MMJ patients who donated four cans of food would receive a pre-rolled joint. The dispensary's goal was to collect 2,000 pounds of canned food by the deadline.

But the dispensary's owners never anticipated the kind of attention their campaign would get. as Michael Roberts reported on the Latest Word yesterday, the Metro CareRing food bank rejected the donations after other people started complaining about the cannabis-fueled can drive.

The big problem? In announcing the campaign, Urban Cannabis had said it was "partnering" with Metro CareRing and A Community Taking a Stand, rather than simply donating the goods there. And complaints started coming into the food banks about joining forces with joint-pushers.

"We all recognize there are needs," says dispensary sales director Amy DiIullo. "We live in Denver, and we see homeless people on corners or people who need food or assistance. So we know food pantries need food, and if we didn't have cannabis in our name -- if we were just Urban Center, not Urban Cannabis -- I'm sure it would be okay...I don't think cannabis is a dirty word, but apparently some people still do."

Read Michael Roberts's full story here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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