Ladybud Writer Picks for End of Year Giving 2015

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Below readers will find organizations and individuals who have helped the medicinal and adult use cannabis cause as well as overall drug policy reform (which includes shining light on reducing for-profit prisons, juvenile detention, prisoner/family support). These organizations and individuals deserve our financial support for their work as it benefits us all on a national and international level. The first section are tax-deductible and others are individual requests for help via independent fundraisers on GoFundMe and similar sites. They have been vetted by our activist staff for legitimacy and necessity.

Cannabis Patient’s Alliance
Description:Cannabis Patients Alliance is the most effective political voice for medical marijuana patients in Colorado. Through a dedicated group of volunteer experts, The Alliance has stepped forward for patients at all levels of government from following the Governor’s Task Force on Amendment 64 and lobbying for patients rights at the State Capitol, to participating on several Rulemaking Committees for the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and working with counties and local communities in developing reasonable regulations that insure patients continue to have safe, affordable access to medicinal cannabis.

Planned Parenthood
Description: For many women, some of whom are young and want an education, some of whom are already mothers living at or near the poverty line, Planned Parenthood is the only option for OB/GYN services. While many women depend on Planned Parenthood for access to safe, legal abortion, abortions comprise only about 1% of the services offered by Planned Parenthood. For many women, PP clinics may be the only option for birth control options and necessary health screenings. In light of the recent violence at a Colorado clinic, we’d like to encourage our readers to include this very necessary orgnazation on their giving list this year. As the lovely Chrissy Teigan said on Twitter, “Every time shit like this happens John (Legend) and I immediately make another donation to Planned Parenthood.” That’s a great example to follow.


Parents 4 Pot
Description: Started to help unify responsible, loving parents who are also cannabis consumers (both medicinal and legal recreational users), Parents 4 Pot also engages in many forms of community outreach. From their support of the families and children of Drug War P.O.W.s, to their destruction of negative “stoner” stereotypes, this organization is truly helping destroy barriers to the end of prohibition and change the dialogue we are having in this country.  

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

Description: LEAP is an organization comprised of current and former law enforcement personnel who have witnessed, first hand, the damages of prohibition policies. One of their officers, Diane Wattles-Goldstein, is a regular contributor here at Ladybud, as well as a tireless advocate for law enforcement reform.


LEAP ON LADYBUD: Towns Don’t Need Tanks

Amnesty International
Description: Amnesty International is a long-standing, well-respected organization who advocates for just treatment of all humans, especially those wrongfully or inappropriately incarcerated. From advocating for transparency at Guatanamo Bay to fighting for young women forced into child marriages, Amnesty International is at the forefront of the battle for basic human rights and human dignity.


Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
Description: MAPS is a non-profit organization at the frontlines of the fight against prohibition. They not only actively support the end of cannabis prohibition and promote medical studies for its various uses, they also advocate for the controlled, medical use of other currently prohibited substances. Their organization provides some of the best, in-depth information on the use of various psychedelic substances for improving the efficacy and speed of therapy. They have supported research into medical cannabis for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and continue to break ground in a much needed area.


National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)
Description: The NAPW is at the forefront of the fight to protect pregnant women, including medical cannabis patients and those with dependencies on illegal drugs. They take a firm stance against enhanced sentencing for pregnant women and advocate for compassion and human dignity when pregnant women face criminal charges, incarceration, or forced medical intervention. The NAPW regularly works with cases where women are being charged with crimes under laws meant to protect pregnant women from physical abuse or murder. They also support reproductive human rights, including the right to access safe abortions.

NAPW on LADYBUD: Pregnant Medical Marijuana Patients Face Steep Legal Risks

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Description: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC)* works to restore rights of incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people, release people from prison, and reunify people, families and communities during and after incarceration. Guided by the vision of people in prison and formerly-incarcerated people, working in unity with expert attorneys and policy advocates, LSPC seeks to transform the injustice of mass incarceration.

CLICK TO DONATE: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Non-Tax Deductible:

Sons and Daughters United
Description: Sons and Daughters United is an anti-prohibition organization that focuses on ending the Drug War and supporting those families and young people whose lives are impacted by prohibition. From a scholarship fund for those who are unable to receive federal funds for college to the sale of t-shirts that are sure to start cannabis-positive conversations, Sons and Daughters United is working hard to support the young people of the United States who have been negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition.


Parents 4 Pot Holiday Drive
Description: If you’d like to donate directly toward those suffering due to prohibition, the Parents 4 Pot Holiday Drive is an excellent way to do so! The organization compiles a list of families who are struggling with legal battles or a loved one in prison, and help bring together small donations from people across the nation to make their holidays a little less bleak. Some of these families would not really be able to have a holiday celebration without community support, which may not be forthcoming where they live due to their “criminal status.” This is the third year that Parents 4 Pot has run this drive, and hopes are high that they will be even more successful this year than they were during the last two!  Gifts are purchasable via Amazon Wish Lists, which are organized by family.


Stop the Raids Campaign (Charmie Gholson)
Description: The irascible Ms. Gholson has been fighting for patient rights. Not only is a patient’s rights first responder, showing up during raids and in their immediate aftermath to aid families, she also speaks to lawmakers and law enforcement officials, advocating for reform. She helped bring to light abuses of patients by law enforcement, including the fact that police had taken a woman’s vibrator as part of their cannabis raid. Her work has aided dozens of families at their lowest points, and she needs support to continue to give of herself.


Charmie’s writing on Ladybud: No More War on People: I Am A Drug Policy Reformer”

Katie Darovitz’s Legal Defense Fund
Description: Katie Darovitz switched from anti-epilepsy drugs to cannabis after discovering the prescriptions had likely caused her miscarriage three years ago. She stopped using cannabis when she first discovered that she was pregnant again, but after several ambulance trips to the hospital, she began to worry for this baby’s life as well. After extensive research about miscarriage and birth defects caused by the epilepsy drugs she was being given, Katie decided with difficulty to resume cannabis treatments. She finished her pregnancy without any additional seizures and delivered her beloved son, Will, on Christmas of 2014.

Unfortunately for Katie, she lives in Alabama, and as such, was arrested on January 7th, 2015. She has been charged with  chemical child endangerment and faces up to ten years in prison, as well as a $15,000 legal bill for her defense.

Family Law and Cannabis Alliance (FLCA)
Description: Founded as a clearinghouse for information about family law, criminal law, child protective services, and local/state cannabis policy, the FLCA offers support to families during CPS investigations and criminal proceedings. Their support has helped many families nationwide during times of crisis, and they are currently hoping to raise enough in non-deductible donations to file for their 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit status.


Feature photo courtesy: ItzaFineDay via Flickr