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Facebook, Twitter, Google just say no to marijuana ads

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You won't see these plants advertised on Facebook. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Puff, puff, and a whole lot of passing on marijuana advertisement opportunities. Don’t try to promote the wacky tobacco on Facebook, Twitter, and Google: these Internet mainstays will not allow marijuana advertisements, even in places where the drug is legal. 

People can purchase marijuana for recreational use legally in Colorado and Washington, but even if you’re checking the Internet at 4:20 in Denver or Seattle, ads for the recently legalized plant are not allowed on the major Web players. Both Facebook and Google confirmed that they are not accepting advertisements from pot sellers, according to a report from GigaOm

“The risk of attempting to allow ads promoting the drug in certain states or countries where it is legal is too high (no pun intended) for us to consider at this time,” Facebook spokesman Tim Rathschmidt told GigaOm by email. 

Google reiterated its ad policy against drugs: “Google doesn’t allow substances that can alter the function of the brain to induce unnatural euphoria, or alter reality, such as marijuana, cocaine, magic mushrooms, herbal ecstasy, etc.,” the company’s guidelines read. 

And according to AdWeek, Twitter is just as anti-weed. Digital Trends reached out to confirm Twitter’s position, but did not receive a response from the micro-blogging site. 

While this legalization of marijuana is new and limited to a few states, these Web companies are playing a strange game of semantics, considering they allow alcohol ads. Alcohol, as some people seem to forget, is a drug by any pharmacologist’s standard. It is a depressant and it alters reality when consumed in large doses. Yet, despite clearly violating Google’s ad policy, alcohol is advertised. Another legal drug: caffeine. Yet you don’t see coffee shops barred from Facebook ads.

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Kate Knibbs
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kate Knibbs is a writer from Chicago. She is very happy that her borderline-unhealthy Internet habits are rewarded with a…
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