Colorado Marijuana Dispensary’s Pro-ICE Facebook Comment Sparks Controversy


A Denver dispensary identified itself in hot water more than the weekend following comments supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been posted on the store’s Facebook account. The dispensary’s owner claims that the social-media account could have been hacked, but pro-immigration advocates are not getting it.

On September 10, a response to a KWGN (Channel two) news story about planned protests at the residence of the warden of Aurora’s ICE facility, asking these in the thread about the lack of pro-ICE assistance, was posted by what looked like Peak Dispensary.

“When and exactly where is the rally for assistance for ICE???” the comment reads. The comment was deleted days later, but the Online under no circumstances forgets. Screenshots of the comment and subsequent responses started surfacing on Facebook and Twitter, gaining criticism and public callouts of Peak.

Facebook screenshot

Courtesy of Justine Sandoval

Peak owner Justin Henderson initially mentioned that a employees member had accidentally posted the comment beneath the company’s Facebook account, but now says the web page was probably hacked. “I genuinely do not know precisely what occurred. We’re nevertheless attempting to piece it with each other,” he says. “1 particular person in our organization has distinctive opinions than other folks, so I posted that.”

But Henderson says that the employee, whom he declines to name, then told him she did not make the comment in query, and that is when he began to think he may possibly have been hacked. “It was me jumping to the conclusion that she definitely did it, and then I attempted to take it back with a small class. But trolls do not care.”

According to Henderson, his company was lately hacked as portion of a economic scam, and he thinks any social-media hacking could be connected.

But Justine Sandoval, a pro-immigration activist in Denver who responded to the original Peak comment, does not obtain that.

“They are fully backpedaling, which is quite insane to me,” she says. “It really is apparent what occurred: An individual who was undertaking their social media was commenting and believed it was their personal account. I handle social media and have performed that, as well, but they left it there. Rather of undertaking the public relations issue and apologizing and explaining, they went and mentioned they had been hacked.”

Peak’s subsequent Facebook posts about the reported employee error and subsequent hacking claim had been deleted following arguments erupted amongst the business and Facebook customers. Some of the comments are shown beneath by way of screenshots from Twitter user @cannapanda.

Henderson calls the controversy a “main outcry to throw an individual beneath the bus,” adding that he’s “delighted to sit down and speak with everyone” about what occurred.

“We’re not attempting to inform anyone they should not be upset. The occasions we’re in suitable now are quite crazy, and a lot of opinions are thrown about promptly. But that is not what we do. We want to speak about cannabis,” Henderson says. “Each managers of my retailer are Hispanic. The manager of my develop is black 75 % of my employees are minorities. We are so not these persons.”

Sandoval is not prepared to modify the conversation, on the other hand, and as an alternative argues that the subjects of cannabis and immigration are intertwined. Legal immigrants can be denied citizenship and even be deported for operating in state-legal cannabis industries due to the fact of the plant’s federal prohibition, she notes.

“That is why this was a enormous red flag for me. Definitely, I did not like the comment, but when I saw who it was, I was shocked,” she says. “1 of the issues that tends to make this so crazy is that persons I know in the cannabis sector are supporters of immigration. [Simply Pure owner] Wanda James and the Green Answer, for instance — but we also have conversations about the sector becoming a white-male-dominated sector.”


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