WASHINGTON: If you follow us on Facebook, you probably know about our ongoing saga with the social media giant over its having banned our promoting our page or our posts. Why is Facebook blocking us from promoting content from the Canna Law Blog on its pages? According to the Facebook Advertising Guidelines, and from what we have been told by Facebook representatives via email, “ads may not promote or facilitate the sale or consumption of illegal or recreational drugs, tobacco products, or drug or tobacco paraphernalia.” But neither Canna Law Blog nor our Facebook page has ever promoted or facilitated the sale or consumption of marijuana. In fact, we studiously delete and ban anyone who tries to use our Facebook page as a forum for selling anything, including marijuana. Our only goal is to educate our readers and stimulate discussion about marijuana, marijuana laws, marijuana business, and marijuana legalization. We do not and will not ever tell anyone to consume as that would be as presumptuous as telling someone that they cannot consume.
In other words, we advocate for the freedom of adults to choose for themselves. That’s all.
Facebook’s blanket anti-drug policy impacts our ability to exercise our political speech rights and that frustrates us (and our readers) on a daily basis.
What about other forms of social media? Is the rest of the Internet equally puritanical when it comes to talking about marijuana? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes. For example, in 2013, Instagram banned #weed from its site and it continues to shut down accounts that show cannabis images, whether for medicinal or recreational use, even in those states with legal marijuana. Every day, marijuana political speech is curtailed by social media’s aggressive anti-cannabis speech restrictions.