A nonprofit trade organization in Oregon, called the Women Leaders in Cannabis (WLC), put together several turkey dinner baskets in an effort to give back to the community by helping out with food donations for this Thanksgiving. The group was shocked when their baskets were denied by two charities and a state agency.
The Department of Human Services office in Eugene denied the food baskets because the office believes it could create an impression that the agency endorses marijuana by accepting donations from a cannabis industry association. Two other local charities also declined the group’s beautifully packaged turkey dinner baskets, each of which contained at least $50 worth of food.
Eventually WLC found KindTree Autism Rocks, a volunteer group that celebrates people in the autism community. KindTree Autism Rocks was grateful to receive the gift basket donations, and says the organization is not concerned about WLC’S association with cannabis.
“It’s more about, you know, let’s meet a need in this community and it’s an act of generous giving and passing forward,” said Autism Rocks Vice President Molly Elliott. “It’s a personal choice whether people choose to use this plant for medical purposes or for recreational purposes, that was not going to be a hang-up for us,” said Elliott.
WLC donors say it’s amazing that they can give back to the community, but also disappointing that it required several attempts to do so.
“Having it being the third time that people did not want to work [with] us was kind of like,’ Are we able to do this?’ This is our whole goal, this is the whole purpose of our organization, of our mission,”
said Lindsey Jacobsen, executive director of Women Leaders in Cannabis. Jacobsen believes the stigma surrounding cannabis will dissolve over time.
“I think in the longevity it will be beneficial to those companies, because cannabis is going to be a huge industry before long and to have us help, I don’t see why that could hurt,”
WLC reports that the organization is not about promoting marijuana; it is a group of people who work in the marijuana industry, and they want to give back to the community.