Facebook Pot Ads Go Up in Smoke: Will it Hurt Medical Marijuana?

Just Say Now hopes to legalize marijuana. Facebook isn't going to help.
Just Saw Now
Just Say Now hopes to legalize marijuana. Facebook isn't going to help.
"Just Say Now" hopes to legalize marijuana. Facebook isn't going to help. (Just Saw Now)

(CBS) It's not clear what Facebook was smoking, but the world's largest social networking site has snubbed out an effort by pro-marijuana advocates to run ads on the site which promote the legalization of marijuana.

That's according to the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim.

The issue is particularly relevant to medical marijuana supporters. Three of the four ballot initiatives the organization "Just Say Now," hopes to influence, increase access to the drug for medical purposes.

The three states going to the ballot box are Arizona, Oregon and South Dakota. The group also supports a ballot imitative in California that seeks to legalize marijuana outright. Medical marijuana is already legal there.

Studies show that people with HIV, spinal cord injury, and other pain-related disorders can benefit from smoking pot, according to WebMD.

Facebook says their issue is with the group's imagery - the pot leaf in particular.

"The image in question was no long[er] acceptable for use in Facebook ads," spokesperson Andrew Noyes wrote in an email obtained by the Huffington Post. "The image of a pot leaf is classified with all smoking products and therefore is not acceptable under our policies."

Facebook's position on the ads is ironic considering the content found on its site.

One group called "Marihuana, Marijuana, Mariguana" has 369,000 active monthly users who post photos of bikini clad bong smokers and giant piles of weed.

A popular game on Facebook called "Pot Farm" has 740,000 monthly users who enjoy trying grow their own virtual marijuana fields.

Facebook did not return an email request for interview at press time.

The group behind the blocked ads, "Just Say Now," is a coalition of the popular progressive blog Firedoglake.com and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Their campaign argues that legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use would generate billions in tax revenue and reduce crime associated with the drug war. Detractors argue that legalizing the drug would increase abuse.

"Just Say Now," claims they are taking action to get their ads reinstated on Facebook. Their first move? Of course, creating a petition on Facebook.