By Berry White
Not that it would be shocking to anyone that has used Facebook before… But last week they were taking more than their fair share of heat for going overboard in their scrutiny of any ads that dealt with the topic of marijuana. Facebook has had a long and inglorious history of being blunt in their denial marijuana ads.
Well — last week Facebook went too far in their rejection of ads by groups that were working as advocates for marijuana legalization and policy reform. The less than questionable ads, which have caused Facebook this sticky issue, had the backdrop of a marijuana fan leaf with alternating photos of the Romney and Obama… and their amused, smug faces smiling back at their faithful servants. The purposes of this satirical Photoshop add was to be a means of garnishing attention for the many different forms of marijuana reform that are being sought during this election season.
As many different incarnations of this doctored Facebook marijuana ad were submitted by varying groups of pro-marijuana supporters, including “just say now” and “students for sensible drug policy,” both groups were told to pound sand… and get a job -because these ads ain’t running!
Well at least that’s what Facebook thought… At least until the Northern California chapter of the ACLU got involved and cultivated an understanding between the politically active pro-marijuana group and the staunchly stupid over at FB. After the ACLU and a handful of other groups became involved in a campaign to correct Facebook’s freedom of speech oversights… Facebook ended up doing the right thing and changing course on its long-standing position of not allowing any ads with marijuana as its primary focus, regardless of their “intended nature.”
While Facebook has long had “high” standards as to what they will, and will not accept as advertisements on their ever popular social network pages. These Ads were political in nature. Not some medical marijuana collective trying to ‘whore out’ their goods on Facebook’s popular platform, but rather a serious discussion of the political nature… about a much-maligned plant.
As many know Facebook has long had guidelines restricting advertisements against products that may do harm to one’s health. As such, within the Facebook guidelines it clearly states that no ads for E -cigarettes, rolling papers, cigarettes, hookahs… Or any other type of device that may be used for vaporizing or smoking any herb or plant.
The problem with Facebook’s blanket denial of these most recent ads of a pro-marijuana, politically motivated… is that they were simply encouraging those of voting age, to stand up and make their voice heard. With slogans such as “register to vote? Make your voice heard on historic marijuana ballot measures this November” and yet another ad was making less than a subtle reference to both Romney and Obama was complete lack of ideas or policy regarding marijuana of reform. This despite the national sentiment which clearly indicates Americans choice to move away from marijuana prohibition in their ever growing desire for laws based on common sense rather than fear and ignorance.