Here’s what happened: Facebook banned our legalization ads for using marijuana imagery in 2010, citing its ban on ads for smoking products. It happened again this year, with Facebook claiming the ads violated their policy against promoting illegal drug use. The ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation spoke with Facebook on our behalf, and the social network backed down, approving them to run on the site.
Over 15,000 activists and countless thousands of Facebook users signed our petition, messaged Mark Zuckerberg and changed their cover and profile photos in just one week of protest, and Facebook heard you loud and clear. With your help, we’re now running our DontForgetMarijuana.com ads, recruiting Facebook users to make marijuana reform a 2012 campaign issue.
This is a pretty huge development that took years in the making. In 2010, Facebook rejected Just Say Now’s very first marijuana reform ads after they were seen over 38 million times across the site. We fought back, earning front-page coverage at the Huffington Post, BoingBoing and other publications – but Facebook wouldn’t give in, and it seriously impacted our abilities to identify supporters and use the platform to organize for change that year.
We thank Facebook for reaching this decision. While the approval of marijuana imagery in Facebook ads might not seem like a big deal, we can now make use of the largest social network on the Internet to have an open and honest conversation about reform.
We really couldn’t have done this without you, the ACLUNC and EFF, and look forward to fully using Facebook as an organizing tool to identify support and elevate the conversation around marijuana reform to the highest levels of national debate.