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January 2010
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Safer calls for boycott (updated)

SaferChoice (“Marijuana is safer than alcohol, it’s time we treat it that way”) is upset about the companies who are sponsoring the drug war enforcement organizations in Colorado who have been actively lobbying against marijuana law reform, and so Safer is calling for a boycott of Starbucks Coffee (among others).

I’ve never been a big fan of boycotts (I don’t think they’re usually all that effective — the biggest value comes from the publicity of announcing it), but feel free to join in if you wish. It might be better to find a way to educate these businesses as to why supporting drug task forces isn’t being a good corporate citizen (they may not know).

I can’t boycott Starbucks anyway, because I’m a hard core addict. If I can’t get my fix of that sweet burnt Italian Roast, I just can’t function. And to stop? Talk about withdrawal… nothing easy like quitting pot.

Update: Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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.

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12 comments to Safer calls for boycott (updated)

  • Duncan

    I wish that I had the foresight to be a Starbucks customer, so my boycott would be meaningful.

  • Buc

    “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women of local law enforcement.”

    Looks like the boycott was a good idea after all.

  • DavesNotHere

    This is more effective with 100 protesters outside their doors berating them for supporting deadly para-military assaults in our neighborhoods (and sometimes at the wrong address) to prevent flushing some pot down the toilet. Not that I’m suggesting that in this case.

    It looks like all the local Starbucks did was give them free coffee, most likely. Free coffee for cops is a very common thing, not just at Starbucks. If they did support them with more than free coffee, that would be good to know.

    Safer got some attention, but a boycott for this is too much. If you can’t get dozens of people to show up and really protest something, its probably not worthy of a boycott yet.

    I would have issued a public letter to Starbucks asking them to clarify their support of drug task forces in CO, and make the case why they shouldn’t in the letter. That might be enough to educate them about the issue, and to also draw public attention to SAFER and this issue.

  • Hope

    “It looks like all the local Starbucks did was give them free coffee, most likely. Free coffee for cops is a very common thing, not just at Starbucks. If they did support them with more than free coffee, that would be good to know.”

    Starbucks? Drugging up law enforcement with a stimulant? For free?

    :0)

  • Hope

    A tasty stimulant.

  • Hope

    Update.

    Wow.

    They paid attention!

  • BruceM

    The best way to get off of your Starbucks addiction is to start homeroasting your own coffee. Go to sweetmarias.com and get a home roaster (cheap, like $100) and buy green unroasted coffee beans from now own. It’s far cheaper than starbucks, and when you’ve tasted REALLY fresh coffee that you’ve roasted yourself (let it sit for a day or two after roasting), you’ll never drink anything else ever again. Plus starbucks overroasts their coffee. Why spend $5 for a cup of overroasted coffee when you can spend $1 for a cup of perfectly roasted coffee that’s infinitely fresher and more flavorful. Plus caffeine is degraded by heat, so the lighter the roast the more caffeine the coffee has (darker roasts may taste stronger but they do NOT have more caffeine, that’s a common myth).

    Get some green Kona beans or JBM, roast it medium/medium-light and let it sit for 48 hours and it’ll be the best coffee you’ve ever tasted, and from then on Starbucks will taste like total swill. Then you won’t have to finance Starbucks, a drug company that finances the drug war because it doesn’t want competition from better, safer, more effective stimulants.

  • I like it over-roasted. And I know it has less caffeine. Given how much I drink, that’s not a detraction either. My preference is strong, dark, slightly burnt, naturally sweet (black, no sugar), no acid aftertaste. For that, nothing can beat Starbucks’ Italian Roast or their espresso.

    And, given the update, they may not be financing the drug war so much.

    But, who knows, I may look into the home roaster idea (I can always over-roast it myself, I suppose).

  • claygooding

    I have never had a desire to become hooked on a $4 cup of coffee,I can barely afford some cartel brick once in awhile. Folgers classic with a tbsp of french roast added.

  • BruceM

    Sure, if you like it overroasted, just crank the knob on the home-roaster all the way to the right. Bottom line, it’s the freshest coffee you’ll ever have. You’ve never smelled coffee until you’ve smelled coffee beans that were roasted 48 hours ago. And all that vacuum-sealing freeze drying airtight crap doesn’t cut it. If you really like coffee, home roasting is the way to go. Cheaper and far better. Might take you a little while to experiment with different beans at different roasts to find exactly what you prefer best, but that’s always fun.

    Just make sure you roast it outside (balcony or whatever). It smells great once it’s roasted but the actual smell of the beans while they are being roasted (takes like 10 minutes) isn’t very pleasant and will stink up your kitchen.

    Also, if you get good quality beans, not the cheap shit starbucks buys by the megafuckton, it won’t have an acidic aftertaste when roasted at a medium level. Good quality coffee beans don’t have to be burnt to a crisp to taste palatable. Even for espresso. It’s a crime to over-roast top-shelf beans like Kona or Jamaica Blue Mtn or St. Helena.

    claygooding: Folgers is not coffee. It’s a fake “coffee” flavored chemical product. I can understand not wanting to spend $4 on a cup of coffee. But there are viable middle grounds.

  • DdC

    Round 1 to SAFER – Starbucks/CDIA Update

    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.

  • DdC

    Starbucks Denies Funding Anti-Marijuana Group
    In the wake of a threatened nationwide boycott by cannabis consumers, coffee giant Starbucks has denied funding an anti-marijuana group.