Facebook has begun deleting business pages for legal medical marijuana dispensaries around the country.
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona, California, New Jersey, and other states, have seen their pages removed from the social media giant. Facebook implemented a policy that prevents advertising for the sale of drugs, tobacco and guns. However, with states having the ability to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, Facebook is not recognizing states’ rights laws and maintains their own guidelines.
Three New Jersey medical marijuana dispensaries have been victims of this, reports ABC News. A board member of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, Peter Rosenfeld, says, “It’s doing a real disservice to the patients of New Jersey. They’re treating it like they’re selling marijuana illegally when it’s a fully sanctioned nonprofit that’s controlled and regulated by the state of New Jersey.”
Facebook spokeswoman, Arielle Aryah, said, in regards to the removed pages, that the pages were removed because for “violating our Community Standards”.
Many dispensary owners find that social media outlets, such as Facebook, are a valuable way to communicate with patients.
Golden State general manager, Aaron Epstein, says that he will find a different outlet to inform patients if Facebook continues its current policy. He stated, “If Facebook doesn’t want to be a part of that, that’s their prerogative. We’ll find other avenues to get information to our patients.”
Given that marijuana is approved in more states for medicinal purposes than recreational use, some industry business owners want to see changes to Facebook’s policies. These businesses are not condoning drug use, they’re attempting to relay information to patients about medicine that can help relieve symptoms from debilitating and terminal illnesses.