Marijuana-Related Advertising: Should Facebook Legalize It?

By David Cohen 

MarijuanaLeaf650Dating sites aren’t the only legal enterprises having difficulty advertising on Facebook, as GigaOM reports that the social network is rejecting marijuana-related ads in the states of Colorado and Washington, where the retail sale of the drug is now legal.

Taylor West of trade group The Cannabis Industry told GigaOM via email that Facebook refused to allow it to boost posts that linked to marijuana-related stories, including some from sources such as The New York Times, adding:

It’s pretty ridiculous and short-sighted — not to mention hypocritical — for them to leave those legitimate ad dollars on the table. We are told that our posts “violate content guidelines,” or something along those lines.

Facebook Spokesman Tim Rathschmidt responded in an email to GigaOM that the social network’s policies permit advocacy ads, such as those urging the legalization of marijuana, but not those that promote the use of recreational drugs, adding:

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.

Readers: How should Facebook handle marijuana-related advertising?

Marijuana leaf image courtesy of Shutterstock.