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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Facebook says no to advertising marijuana reform

Dear Just Say Now activist,

Facebook is censoring our marijuana reform ads in the run-up to the 2012 election.

Last week, we tried to launch ads for Don't Forget Marijuana — our new push to make sure marijuana reform isn't neglected this election cycle. The ads featured President Obama, Mitt Romney and images of marijuana leafs alongside a message encouraging people to join the campaign.

Facebook rejected the ads on the ridiculous grounds that the simple act of showing a marijuana leaf promotes drug use.

This is familiar territory. In 2010, Facebook allowed our pro-legalization ads to run 38 million times before changing their mind and banning them.1Once again they are denying us the ability to identify and communicate with our supporters, but this time during perhaps the most important election season in our movement's recent history.

Here are some stats to chew on in light of Facebook's continued censorship of marijuana reform:
  • More than 1.3 million people like Just Say Now on Facebook,2
  • 50% of Americans support ending prohibition,3
  • Three states have legalization initiatives on the ballot this fall4 and many more states and municipalities have varying marijuana reform initiatives as well.5
Marijuana reform is not a fringe issue, and banning the use of marijuana imagery in political speech is like denying a candidate the use of their face in a campaign.
Just Say Now has and always will focus exclusively on reforming our nation's drug laws, and in an era of overwhelming support for ending the drug war, the assertion that our efforts are somehow encouraging others to use marijuana is evidence of how narrow-minded and out-dated Facebook's policy has become.

Thank you for your continued support. With your help we'll continue to make sure this issue receives the attention it deserves.
In Solidarity,

Brian Sonenstein
Campaign Director,

1. Facebook Censors Marijuana – Help Us Fight Back, Michael Whitney, FDL Action, 8/24/2010.
2. Just Say Now Facebook Page, 8/6/2012
3. Half in U.S. support legalizing marijuana use, poll finds, Reuters, 10/18/2011.
4. Marijuana Initiative By State,, 8/6/2012.
5. Marijuana on the Ballot, Ballotpedia, 8/7/2012.


  1. I'm all for marijuana law reform but saying "...banning the use of marijuana imagery in political speech is like denying a candidate the use of their face in a campaign." is not a good comparison. but I think you should look into some of other cases commercial advertising on facebook using images of pot leaves. which brings up another thought that fb ads are targeted so any one whose going to see the ad is probably already exposed to the "dangers"of smoking pot, right?

  2. Facebook won't let me advertise the word, "marijuana" never mind the imagery...

  3. I fired Facebook in March having no desire to support a company that routinely sells out it's users. The sooner you vote with your feet the sooner it becomes the next AOL or MySpace.


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