PayPal has decided that a listing of doctors who legally recommend cannabis as medicine in California makes California NORML unworthy of PayPal’s online transaction services. NORML says that as a protector of free speech, PayPal is no longer worthy of your dollars!
Recently, PayPal froze the accounts of California NORML because it was taking payments from doctors who wished to be listed on the canorml.org website. (See http://bit.ly/DumpPayPal)
PayPal had originally objected to California NORML’s listing of collectives and dispensaries, saying that taking fees from them violated “Terms of Service” forbidding involvement with anyone “distributing narcotics”. Despite the fact California NORML doesn’t distribute medical marijuana (which, by the way, is technically not a “narcotic”), the advertising for those who do distribute medical marijuana, combined with the conflict between California and federal law on the issue, caused California NORML to relent and stop accepting fees from the legal collectives and dispensaries in the state, a major loss of revenue to the non-profit organization.
PayPal, however, was unsatisfied and continued the freeze due to California NORML’s listing of doctors who recommend cannabis as medicine. When confronted with the fact that the Supreme Court has affirmed the federal right of doctors to discuss and recommend cannabis medicine and that recommendations in no way involve the distribution of medical marijuana, PayPal replied: “We are not arguing the legality of this issue; we are simply stating that we have made the business decision to not be involved with this type of business.”
There is a quite a chilling effect to the First Amendment when banks are allowed to discriminate against customers solely due to the nature of their speech. If PayPal had cut off services to gay rights groups, civil rights organizations, religious denominations, or gun firing ranges because they didn’t want to be “involved with this type of business”, there would most certainly be an appropriate uproar. Cutting off a service to physicians because PayPal doesn’t like what they say is equally offensive.
We call on all lovers of liberty, cannabis users or not, to boycott PayPal and stand in solidarity against any company that tries to silence the truth about medical marijuana. Please use the attached graphic on your website and pass it around to others, and link it back to http://bit.ly/DumpPayPal.