August 24th, 2010, 21:59 PM
Marijuana Leaf Vanishes From Facebook
A group supporting the legalization of marijuana is accusing Facebook of censorship after the Web site banned the organization’s advertisement.
The ad, which depicted a marijuana leaf, began running on Aug. 7. Just over a week later, Facebook pulled it, saying the image violated its policy against promoting smoking.
Organizers at Just Say Now, a bipartisan coalition fighting to legalize and regulate marijuana just like alcohol, said they spent roughly $5,000 on the ads, which received about 38 million views in the week they ran.
Michael Whitney, the group’s online campaign director, said Facebook’s move is akin to striking a candidate’s face from his posters while he’s running for office. Marijuana legalization is on the ballot this November in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and South Dakota.
“We are talking about free political speech,” Mr. Whitney said. “We aren’t encouraging people to do anything illegal.”
Full story: New York Times (blog)