6 Cannabis Charities and Nonprofits to Donate to this Giving Tuesday
With the wintery period of conspicuous consumption fully upon us, it’s worth considering taking a break from scrambling around for deals to do something really meaningful and donate to an important cause. If you’re a smoker looking to do good with your hard-earned cash, here are a few cannabis-related charities and nonprofits that you can donate to this Giving Tuesday.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been a mainstay in pro-cannabis activism since 1970 and to this day holds regular advocacy training and industry meetings at its network of over 150 chapters across the U.S. The organization has a headquarters in Washington, D.C. and uses donations to pursue lobbying on a local, state, and national level; litigation and legal support for “the hundreds of thousands of victims of cannabis prohibition annually” with its network of over 575 criminal defense attorneys; weekly info blasts; conferences and legal seminars; and public protests. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the NORML Foundation, NORML’s 501(c)3 nonprofit.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the United States’ largest cannabis policy-focused reform organization, both in terms of budget and members/staff. The MPP’s goals focus on increasing public support for marijuana reform, supporting pro-cannabis legislators, working to change state laws “to reduce or eliminate penalties for the medical and non-medical use of marijuana,” and to “gain influence in Congress.” The MPP promotes the idea that “marijuana [be] legally regulated similarly to alcohol” and supports “marijuana education [that] is honest and realistic” including “treatment for problem marijuana users [that] is non-coercive and geared toward[s] reducing harm.”
The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit aiming to create “a nationwide network of cannabis business owners within a variety of disciplines, including ancillary businesses” on behalf of “the minority population [via] programs that foster opportunity, education, and equality.” With the industry notoriously eschewing diversity, groups like MCBA are crucial in the quest to establishing racial parity in the pot industry.
Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access (VMCA, formerly known as Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access) was created in 2007 as “the first American veteran service organization designed to assist veterans with medical access to cannabis.” The nonprofit is focused on “lobbying and advocating both at the federal level … and at the state level to geographically and qualitatively increase access to medical cannabis and derivatives for US military veterans.” The organization has worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Narcotics Control Board. The VMCA currently works with the UN’s office in Vienna to “[spread] ground-up proposals that aim to impact national decision-makers.”
Based in Oakland, the Hood Incubator “works to increase the participation of Black and Brown communities in the legal cannabis industry.” The group focuses on three goals, “community organizing, policy advocacy, and economic development,” to create “a healthy and sustainable ecosystem of industry access, resources, and support that benefits, rather than harms, Black and Brown communities.” The organization runs a business accelerator as well as a marijuana industry apprenticeship program, meaning that your tax-deductible donations are going towards supporting an on-the-ground approach to increasing diversity in cannabis.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focusing on increasing access to cannabis for medical use and research. In addition to providing media support for relevant court cases and responding to law enforcement raids, the organization also “provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals, and policymakers throughout the United States.” ASA works with organizations ranging from the American Public Health Association to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the U.S. Pain Foundation.