Proponents of legalized marijuana in Colorado are calling for a nationwide boycott of Starbucks because they say the Seattle-based coffee company supports an organization that is trying to thwart the use of pot for medical purposes in that state.
On Thursday a pro marijuana group held a news conference in front of a Denver Starbucks to draw attention to what it says are ties between the company and the Colorado Drug Investigators Association.
“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. But Starbucks and other companies’ funding of this war should strike any marijuana consumer or reform supporter as truly appalling. It’s time to stand up and send them all a message,” Mason Tvert, head of SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation), said in a statement.
Starbucks says the effort is misguided. The company does not provide financial support to the Colorado law enforcement group, Starbucks said in a statement.
“This organization is apparently targeting us because a local law enforcement organization in Colorado posted our logo on their website. Starbucks has not taken a position on their issue,” the statement said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women of local law enforcement. 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 Web site, which apparently listed other national and Colorado companies besides Starbucks as backers, is no longer working.
This week the Washington state Legislature killed bills that would’ve legalized and decriminalized marijuana use in this state, however local voters may get a chance to weigh in on this issue this fall. Proponents of a citizens imitative that would ask state residents whether they want to legalize pot are trying to get enough signatures to put the question before voters in November.
By CHRIS GRYGIEL