Last week multiple New Jersey based medical marijuana dispensaries were greeted by a vague message from Facebook when they logged into their business pages: “We remove any promotion of encouragement of drug use. Your page is currently not visible on Facebook. It looks like content on your page does not follow the Facebook Community Terms and Standards.”
The social media giant has been systematically pulling down pages for medical marijuana dispensaries, claiming that it violates their Community Standards. What’s odd is that they’ve only been targeting dispensaries that operate out of New Jersey, where medical marijuana is fully legal.
Almost one week after pulling the pages, Facebook still has yet to comment on the situation. Instead, they refer all inquiries to their Community Standards page. As a result of Facebook’s silence on the matter, medical marijuana businesses have been left shorthanded and unsure of how to legally promote their business now.
Adding to the frustration is the fact that if you search “marijuana dispensary” on Facebook plenty of other medical marijuana business pages will populate the list of search results. If this was intended to be a sweeping policy change where Facebook bans medical marijuana en masse, it makes little sense why they would only target New Jersey.
Perhaps the most disheartening part of this story is that Facebook has only accomplished making it incredibly difficult for patients to receive timely information regarding their legalized medicine. These Facebook pages are communication hubs between patients and the people who can most help them.
“It seems high-handed to simply shut down important resources for sick patients without even saying why or giving organizations a way to ask for reconsideration,” says Peter Rosenfeld, a medical marijuana patient in New Jersey. “What better use of a social media than having sites where parents of sick children can ask questions about medication and treatments?”
From the objective view, this sounds like a classic case of misinformation and poor education on medical marijuana. There’s a lot of research about the benefits of legal cannabis and medical marijuana out there, and we encourage everyone to read and learn as much as possible. Make sure to spread the word about Facebook on your social media pages, and help educate the rest of the public that medical marijuana isn’t a bad thing.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]]>