With the monumental rise of legal cannabis in the U.S. over the last few years, you wouldn’t think of us as still being in a prohibition. But even in fully legalized states such as California social media shows us that the national legal mindset towards cannabis still has a long way to go. Social Media is undeniably one of the most powerful marketing tools of our (digital) age. Why then is cannabis still monitored so strongly even in legal states?
Here’s the thing… big social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. navigate under federal law. This means it takes into account the rather antiquated fact of cannabis still being listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. What does that mean you may say? The DEA says “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Judging by the fact that 16 states have fully legalized cannabis for adult use and 36 states have legalized medicinal use, this is truly an old school and very incorrect statement. To really add some perspective, c0caine is a schedule 2 substance, deemed less addictive and more medically relevant than cannabis. As we collectively roll our eyes, we must look at how this affects cannabis on the social networking sphere.
There is a collective effort by social media companies to inhibit any posts or content containing cannabis. This is hugely inhibitive in the case of Cannabis Brands being able to market their legal products. Although completely licensed within their state, cannabis brands, growers, influencers etc. are consistently fighting with the platforms to allow them to exercise their rights as citizens and post about their legal businesses and products. Cannabis creators live in fear of their account being flagged and removed.
It is an ever-changing space and we can only be hopeful that the national attitude towards cannabis comes into the 21st century soon and catches up with the more enlightened states, for cannabis truly has proved itself to be incredibly beneficial medically and otherwise. We believe there is a cannabis product for everyone and millions more people could benefit from the end of this cannabis prohibition.