Although states around the country are legalizing recreational and medicinal cannabis at an impressive rate, the people that are trying to invest into cannabis companies early are running into roadblocks at every turn. One of the biggest issues that people are facing is that banks are refusing to give loans to, or in many cases even do business with, cannabis companies. Cannabis advertisements in publications that are delivered by USPS have been under attack as well. These issues are mainly stemming from the fact that the federal government still considers cannabis to be a schedule one drug. While these institutions might be too closely linked to the federal government to want to risk being involved in cannabis, there are multiple private companies that are turning their noses at cannabis business owners as well, namely Facebook and Instagram.
For some reason or another Facebook and Instagram have consistently been deleting the accounts of both legitimate marijuana business owners and cannabis cultural icons, with virtually no explanation. You would think that these two companies would be willing to be facilitators of free speech and an open market, but that apparently isn’t the case. The weirdest part about Facebook and Instagram’s censorship is the seemingly random times that they decide to strike. There are thousands of pages on both Facebook and Instagram for cannabis companies and weed celebrities, but they seem to get deleted at the weirdest times. It would be one thing if they were consistently removed as soon as they were reported, the same way that nudity is dealt with, but there are lots of accounts that have thousands of followers that are left alone.
Facebook is also refusing to allow cannabis companies to advertise on its site. While these restrictions might be made to try to keep cannabis companies from advertising to children or to people in states that have yet to legalize, they could easily be altered to allow targeted ads on the site. Not only does Facebook allow alcohol companies to advertise to people over 21, but they even allow ads for specific counties that have lowered the drinking age. This means they could easily program ads to only appear to those people that are over 21 and in states that have legalized. Since both of these social media companies are owned by Mark Zuckerberg, some have suggested that we sign a petition to try to convince him to change his mind. Hopefully he’ll see the changing tides soon enough and come to his senses on his own.