Gavin Dunaway, Adotas: “Listen, you dirty hippies: Facebook doesn’t wanna run your pro-legalization display ads. It ain’t down with your THC consumption or your tie-dye or your free love or your patchouli stink. It’s a family social network that only runs family-friendly advertising — like beer and liquor ads, products the family can enjoy together (especially when forced to gather for holidays).”

Chris Good at The Atlantic: Facebook may have been started by and for college kids, but it’s no lefty, hippie operation., a marijuana legalization organization launched last month by liberal blogger/activist Jane Hamsher, had been running ads on Facebook for a week and a half, but Facebook evidently won’t run them anymore, on the grounds that pot leaves are inappropriate

Ryan Singal, Wired: “No one disputes that Facebook has the legal right to ban the ad, but Hamsher argues that it just doesn’t make sense. ‘It seems like a decision make to appease somebody’s grandma,’ Hamsher said.”

Grant Gross, IDG News Service: “It’s tantamount to banning a candidate’s face during a political campaign,” Michael Whitney, a Just Say Now organizer, said in a statement. “It’s a mystery to me why Facebook would do such a sudden about-face. This is political speech.”… Support for legalization of marijuana is growing, especially among young people, even though President Barack Obama’s administration has opposed legalization efforts, Just Say Now said.

Michael O. Powell, The Liberty Papers: One key indicator that you are dealing with unapologetic authoritarians is when you’re being harshly reprimanded for violating regulations and rules that are unpredictable, undefinable and more than likely not even known by the person touting them. That appears to be the case with Facebook’s policies.

Tanya Ganeva, AlterNet: A Facebook spokesperson claimed, “The image of a pot leaf is classified with all smoking products and therefore is not acceptable under our policies.” As Ryan Grim (who obtained the letter) points out though, Facebook’s policy specifies that tobacco products can’t be promoted on the site.So, there’s a tiny chance it might have to do with money rather than Facebook’s deep concern for users’ health.

Ryan Tate, Gawker: [W]hen it comes to pot leaves, Facebook is about 50 years behind society, judging from its ad restrictions. Which probably has something to do with trying to keep Facebook attractive to big spending, blue chip ad clients who don’t like their campaigns surrounded by seedy looking pro narcotics narcotics ads. It is, of course, Facebook’s right to make that call, and probably a smart thing to do from a business standpoint. But it does put to lie the company’s high-minded excuses about its privacy rollbacks and how they were “not about the money.” (When people say that, it means it’s totally about the money.)

And just for the irony factor: join the Just Say Now Facebook Group.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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