Corporate Philanthropy — On Weed

Cannabis brands are beating Google at charitable giving.

Weed 101

By Susan Cohen |

It’s easy to forget the medical cannabis movement’s roots were planted by the benevolence of activists. People like “Brownie Mary” Rathbun and other activists laid the groundwork for a compassionate crusade. But after Proposition 215 passed in 1996 and obtaining a card became as easy as a five-minute consultation, marijuana’s charitable value was overshadowed by its offer of easy recreational pleasure.

That means the work of people like David Goldman and his husband Michael Koehn often goes unnoticed. As cannabis activists living in San Francisco for over 40 years, they’ve met people who are HIV-positive or have other medical issues; people who are low income and on disability; people who have had bad reactions to their prescriptions drugs, or who are addicted to them.

People who desperately need, but can’t afford, cannabis.

“We know of several folks who have either cut their opiate use by 50 percent or have completely replaced their opiate intake with medical cannabis,” he says. “Their use of cannabis helps them eat properly by restoring their appetite, helping them overcome nausea and chronic pain, and combat alcoholism.”

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