Medical Pot Ads Prove To Be A Hard Sell

July 10, 2009-The people of California may have voted in favor of medical marijuana, but Facebook and various Bay Area television stations still potleafrefused this week to carry ads for medical marijuana sales and for legalization of the drug, respectively.

Facebook on Wednesday disabled the home page of a six-month old Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary called the Artists Collective that had been advertising its wares to clients on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
The Palo Alto social networking giant took the move after the collective got widespread media attention, including from Gawker and Fox News.

“Under the Bush administration, purveyors of medical marijuana in California have been arrested and prosecuted. The Obama administration has indicated that they may not prosecute California medical marijuana. However, the Federal laws, which supersede state and local laws, have not changed,” Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt opined in an email. “Until they do, promoting marijuana in any context will not be allowed on Facebook.”

The Artists Collective, which has about 100 members in L.A. county and intends to distribute profits to artists, still has an active Twitter account and a MySpace page.

“Happy Tuesday! BB Kush, NY Soma, SD Strom, Forrest G, Green C all in stock, quarter purchase get one gram of RD Haze free. Free delivery,” effused the dispensary in one Twitter message.

Collective Director Dann Halem called Facebook’s action “ridiculous,” saying that his group did nothing illegal, and society should be having a discussion about how to harness the huge underground marijuana business for social good.

Meanwhile, Bay Area stations KTVU, KPIX, KGO and KNTV reportedly either rejected or did not respond to requests that they run ads from a group that wants to legalize marijuana and tax the drug to help reduce the state’s deficit, according to Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune.
The ad will begin airing today on KRON, whose owner is in bankruptcy, on stations in Sacramento and Los Angeles, and statewide on cable news channels CNN, Headline News, MSNBC and CNBC, Richman said.
An April Field Poll found 56 percent of state voters favored legalizing marijuana, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for the issue to be debated. Source.

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