It’s always nice to hear about charitable causes doing nice things for people that are down on their luck. Even more so over the Christmas period, when what’s already a seriously difficult life for enormous homeless communities becomes even more challenging and distressing.
There are plenty of organisations and charitable groups that set out to do the right thing for as many homeless people as possible over Christmas. From free meals to essential clothing to shelter and so on, there’s a lot that can be done and indeed a lot that gets done.
But as far as a certain group of charitable types from Denver are concerned, giving the gift of green to those down on their luck really is what Christmas is all about…sort of.
The Gift of Green
Nick Dicenzo, the founder of Cannabis Can, set out with a plan to both raise awareness and to hopefully pull in as many donations and helpful contributions as possible at this important time of the year. His method was however rather unusual – he and his associates took to the streets of Denver with 1,000 free joints, handing them out to any homeless person who wanted one.
Dicenzo’s non-profit organisation summarily hit the headlines all over the country…mostly for good reasons…pretty much hitting the nail on the head with the publicity he needed. Rather than simply trying to get at many people as possible as high as possible, he said it was all in the spirit of raising awareness, which the stunt most certainly did.
It was all part of an overall campaign to raise enough money to buy a string of RVs and offer showers and toilets to those living on the streets. In essence, the whole cannabis giveaway didn’t really have a great deal to do with anything else – it was all about doing a nice thing and getting the public’s attention.
"'Cannabis can make a difference,' is kind of what we're standing for," said Dicenzo.
And just to ensure he didn’t alienate those who didn’t want to accept a pre-rolled joint, he was also happy to hand out rolling papers and offer seasonal best wishes to non-pot-smokers. Along with the freebies, his team spent time handing out leaflets and business cards showing how and where donations could be made for the good cause he’d set up.
"A lot of the people we spoke with really were just like, 'if I had regular access to a shower, and a haircut my life would be so much better - I'd have so much more opportunity'," added Dicenzo.
A Tricky Process
But it wasn’t quite as simple as loading up with kilo after kilo of weed and heading out with something of a free buffet. As it stands, smoking marijuana is still illegal in public places in Denver, plus it’s against the law to carry more than one ounce at a time. Marijuana gifts are totally in line with the law, but cannot be exchanged for money without licensing and must only be given to those over the age of 21.
"Which makes the logistics of this really tricky, but yeah I have lots of people with one ounce on their person," Dicenzo added, insisting that huge efforts were made to ensure that no laws were broken whatsoever.
He’s yet to report back on just how successful or otherwise the idea was, but given the fact that it’s making international headlines, you’d like to think things were heading in the right direction. And of course, the fact that marijuana joints are now being given away on the streets of Colorado totally free and totally legally is a pretty cool thought to say the least!