Anorak News | How Facebook Promotes The Call To Legalise Marijuana

How Facebook Promotes The Call To Legalise Marijuana

by | 24th, August 2010

DO adverts to legalise marijuana tempt you to smoke a joint? Facebook had been carrying adverts for weed legalization group Just Say Now. The adverts were headed “End the war on marijuana”.

You might not have noticed them. But the Just Say Now ads have been banned. The ads are now free to air. And why were they banned? Well, here’s the reason:

The image in question was no longer acceptable for use in Facebook ads,” wrote Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes in an e-mail to “The image of a marijuana leaf is classified with all smoking products and therefore is not acceptable under our policies.”

A pot leaf need not be linked to smoking. You can bake the stuff and make it into a tincture. Or you can smoke it like David Cameron or Barack Obama. Had they have been arrested they would have earned criminal records. But they escaped. Not everyone is as lucky.

Says Just Say Now:

After our advertisements appeared over 38 million times on Facebook, the social network giant decided to pull the plug. Why? Because our logo contains a pot leaf. We’re fighting back against this censorship and standing up for marijuana legalization. Will you join us?

Jane Hamsher, the co-founder of the Firedoglake blog, says:

“We aren’t trying to sell people pot. This is a policy issue,” Hamsher told, noting that more than 50 percent of inmates in the federal prison system were there on drug charges and that law-and-order types like former Reagan administration lawyer Bruce Fein support decriminalization. “The time is right for this and Facebook shutting this down is a real blow when we are trying to open up a conversation.”

She’s right. The drugs policy does not work. Anorak has been thinking of starting a campaign to end the criminalisation of marijuana, and following the stories in the news. The drug is of clear benefit to some. Why should they be made into criminals for taking a drug that alleviates their symptoms and has less side effects than many prescription medicines and alcohol?

As for the Facebook stance, says CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

“We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.”

As Ryan Tate recalls, Facebook is not about the money and keeping big business with its big marketing and advertising budgets happy:

“It’s not about the money. It might seem weird, we’re not doing this to make more money. For all the people inside the company that could not be more true. It’s such a big disconnect that we’re doing this for the money.”


Posted: 24th, August 2010 | In: Technology Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink