Pubdate: Fri, 06 Nov 2009
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Record Searchlight
Author: Jim Schultz
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


A Christian ministry that feeds homeless people in Shasta County is 
saying "no thanks" to an offer of free food from a medical marijuana 
collective, much to the chagrin of its co-owner.

"It doesn't make any sense to me," said Joe Munday, who, with his 
wife, Gina, owns The Green Heart medical marijuana collectives and 
dispensaries in Anderson, Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta. "Everybody 
I've told so far about this thinks it's absolutely ridiculous."

Munday, who said his three businesses have been holding food drives 
for about the past month, called Redding Loaves and Fishes on 
Wednesday after seeing that organization's TV commercials seeking donations.

He said he eventually spoke on the telephone to a man named Chris, 
who originally seemed receptive to his offer of the free food.

But, he said, that man called back about 30 minutes later and turned it down.

"He said, 'My pastor and I have been praying on this, and we don't 
want to accept your food,' " Munday said.

Chris Solberg, director of Loaves and Fishes, confirmed Thursday that 
he spoke with Munday, but said that he alone made the decision to 
politely turn down the offer after praying.

"The Lord impressed on me to tell him thanks, but no thanks," he 
said, adding that he does not regret that decision. "I feel good 
about the decision. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders."

Still, he noted, food and monetary donations are very much needed 
because of the poor economy.

Solberg said he was at first unaware of the nature of Munday's 
businesses. He said he finally realized, once he got off the phone 
with him, that they were medical marijuana shops.

He said he does not support them and their proliferation.

"They are all over," Solberg said, calling them a "pestilence" and 
"travesty" in the community.

Solberg said he believed the food offer was made because the 
marijuana collective was "trying to validate themselves."

"As director of Loaves and Fishes, I will continue to run it in a 
biblical manner, and not a political manner," he said.

Munday, who admitted to being "really angry" on Wednesday after the 
phone call with Solberg, remained miffed the day after.

"It was like a punch in the face," he said. "I'm fit to be tied."

Munday speculated that the food collected by his businesses, which 
includes canned goods, spaghetti and other nonperishables, was enough 
to feed a family of four for a month.

Although he admitted that medical marijuana collectives are 
controversial and some may look down on them, Munday was still 
disappointed by the refusal.

"A lot of people look down on us, but it ain't about me or him, it's 
about (feeding) the hungry," he said.

In the meantime, he said, he's looking to donate the free food to 
other nonprofit groups.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom