Round 1 to SAFER - Starbucks/CDIA Update

SAFER and supporters of marijuana policy reform have won Round 1 in the fight against the Arrest and Prosecution Industry and the companies that sponsor their efforts to keep marijuana illegal.

After being subjected to an action that resulted in thousands of e-mail messages and several unflattering news accounts, the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA) shut down its Web site entirely and many of its "sponsors" distanced themselves from the extremist anti-marijuana organization. Apparently this law enforcement group has far less support in the community than it had led people to believe on its Web site. Needless to say, we're not surprised. We are, however, shocked that this group would list any company as a sponsor without receiving permission.

Starbucks, the largest "sponsor" listed and a primary target of SAFER's call to action, released a public statement to ensure everyone knows it does NOT support the anti-marijuana group at the national level. Rather, the company said, "It is up to the discretion of our local teams to support those groups that are relevant in their neighborhoods."

Although we feel Starbucks should develop a policy prohibiting its stores from lending support to these types of groups, and that it should be looking into groups like the CDIA who have used their logo without permission, SAFER is no longer calling for a nationwide boycott of Starbucks or these other companies.

Rather, we urge you and all supporters of marijuana reform to use YOUR "discretion" and decide for yourself whether you wish to give them your business. After all, no local store or company should be lending its support to such these extremist organizations lobbying to maintain Marijuana Prohibition so they can continue to arrest and prosecute people for marijuana. SAFER will continue to keep an eye out for stores or other companies that lend support to the Arrest and Prosecution Industry and shady groups like the CDIA, and we will be sure to keep everyone posted on how you can take action if the need should arise.

As the Seattle Weekly's blog put it:

"[This Starbucks boycott is] 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."

If you support SAFER's efforts to expose these types of shady partnerships and take on these anti-marijuana groups, please help us continue to do so by visiting and making a donation today. If you contribute $25 or more you can receive any one of SAFER's T-shirts or a copy of Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? signed by coauthor and SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert.

As always, we greatly appreciate your ongoing support, and we thank you again if you were among those who took action or helped us spread the word about it.


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