We all know society’s (or your grandmother’s) stereotype of the stoner: long hair, tie-dye, hacky-sack in the back pocket, sitting on the couch in a daze when there is work to be done…right? Wrong. Because there is work to be done, and companies like MassRoots and Denver Gives are here to help people spread the word on causes, legalization, and legislature that makes sense for medical patients, recreational cannabis buyers, and many other community groups who are in need. This work is the promotion of positive change in the United States and across the globe, and people like Kevin White, founder of Denver Gives, are helping to drive that change through the community support that local nonprofits truly need in order to succeed. The week of 420 is the perfect time to support destigmatizing cannabis users through Denver Gives’ 420GivesBack campaign. As everyone in Denver ramps up for 420 Week, “One joint can make a difference for thousands!” We encourage the 420 community (or anyone else) to show their support for small nonprofits in the Denver area and give to 420GivesBack this week by donating here.
A Brief History of the Term “Stoner”
The lazy stoner stereotype has thankfully been disproved in states where legalization has been approved – as the stigma continues to be shattered, the true nature of cannabis consumers, cultivators, supporters, and promoters has been gradually emerging into the light of day. In fact, let’s just get rid of the term ‘stoner’ now, and replace it with cannabis user or cannabis consumer. One of the first mentions of the word “stoner” in literature is in a book called Humbugs of the World, circa 1866, referring to someone as being extremely intoxicated by alcohol; the term was commonly used in 1930’s slang for being drunk, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Following that, the term emerged in another momentous decade for cannabis use, the 1960s, as the country divided into two factions: those who saw cannabis and other natural plants as a way to enlightenment and improved health and those who saw them as the demoralization and downfall of society. The first known printing of the word “stone” in reference to cannabis was probably the 1945 printing of Hepcats Jive Talk Dictionary edited by Lou Shelly of the T.W.O. Charles Company. Of course, we know today that the federal government had more than its fair share of the blame for the demonizing of cannabis and other drugs.
Why Some Charities Still Stigmatize Cannabis Company Contributions
The federal government’s refusal to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug is most likely the true source of much of non-cannabis-oriented charities’ refusal of cannabis funds. Also, any cannabis grower or distributor is still considered as participating in an illegal activity and any donations made on their behalf’s are not tax-deductible, whereas contributions to charities from any other company are tax-deductible. As the DEA considers a possible rescheduling of the drug over the next few months, and high-profile athletes like Avery Collins, recovering medical patients, and entrepreneurs throughout the nation continue to publicize their positive cannabis experiences, the stereotype falls further and further into the past. Denver Gives wants to give the 420 community the opportunity to be more involved in the support of local, community charities.
What Denver Gives is Doing to Decrease Stigmatization
Since 2010, Denver Gives has provided organizational support to hundreds of small nonprofit charities in the Denver, Colorado, area, giving them the true gifts that make nonprofits succeed – free of charge. Those gifts are time, knowledge, and connections to other nonprofits in the community, which go a long way toward helping these smaller nonprofits succeed and reach their goals. Passion, as Kevin White of Denver Gives stated, is never the problem; business issues can be. The company has found a niche in which it can not only help individual charities, but further a much larger number of smaller charities and support each one’s unique vision through free consulting, education, and resource development services. Among the small charities (of 2,750 total) that Denver Gives supports are Art from Ashes (empowering marginalized youth to use the written word, drama, and art to express themselves), The Chanda Plan Foundation (improving quality of life for those with physical disabilities), and Bessie’s Hope (increasing the quality of life for elders through at-risk youth and family volunteering). By donating this week to 420GivesBack.org, the 420 community can show their support and love of local nonprofits and help them thrive in Denver’s unique business scene. Denver Gives’ goal with the 420GivesBack campaign is to raise 100% of their budget for the Denver Gives Week program, and as a thank you to the 420 community, they will be renaming the unique event catering to the small nonprofit community “Denver Gives Week – Powered by the 420 Community.” The organization will also be present at Denver’s 420 Rally, and a Give & Toke gummy band comes with each donation.