Tom Baker Can­cer Cen­tre re­fuses $6,000 do­na­tion from cannabis club

Club calls it ‘dis­crim­i­na­tion,’ while foun­da­tion says it needs to catch up with le­gal­iza­tion

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - BREN­NAN DO­HERTY

When Rick Beaver, a well-re­spected mem­ber of the Cal­gary Cannabis Club, died of can­cer in No­vem­ber, the club’s mem­ber­ship wanted to raise money for the clinic that had treated their friend so well.

At a memo­rial auc­tion in early De­cem­ber, mem­bers raised $6,000 for the Tom Baker Can­cer Cen­tre in Beaver’s name. The 65-year-old re­tired me­chanic bat­tled blad­der and esophageal can­cer and used weed to man­age the pain, nau­sea, and ap­petite is­sues that went along with treat­ment. But last Fri­day, the cen­tre re­fused the do­na­tion be­cause the money came from a cannabis-ori­ented group.

The club called the de­ci­sion “dis­crim­i­na­tion, plain and sim­ple” in a Face­book post on Fri­day.

“I just think it’s a lit­tle shame­ful of a can­cer so­ci­ety Cal­gary Cannabis Club’s Rick Beaver died in No­vem­ber. Club mem­bers wanted to do­nate in his name. to refuse any sort of fund­ing,” said Gor­don Hayes, the club’s di­rec­tor of fundrais­ing and events.

Phoebe Dey, vice-pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing for the foun­da­tion — which raises funds for all of Al­berta’s can­cer cen­tres — cited the Canada Rev­enue Agency’s rules on fundrais­ing by reg­is­tered char­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tions, fundrais­ing isn’t ac­cept­able

if it is “il­le­gal or con­trary to pub­lic pol­icy.” She said the foun­da­tion un­der­stands the need to change its rules now that recre­ational cannabis is le­gal, but it needs to do its due dili­gence first.

thes­tar.com/cal­gary

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