By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
Local pot advocates believe it is “ridiculous” that Facebook has blocked a marijuana legalization campaign from displaying the image of a pot leaf in ads on the social-networking site. Facebook has censored the Just Say Now campaign from using pot images in its advertising. The campaign aims to draw support for legalization efforts in several states, including a ballot initiative scheduled for 2012 in Colorado.
Facebook censored the ads on Aug. 16 without explanation. When later asked by reporters, Facebook said the pot leaf violated Facebook’s policy against advertising smoking products.
Pot advocates, however, say Facebook needs to get its priorities straight. They believe marijuana is a less dangerous substance than products such as alcohol and tobacco.
“Facebook prides itself on being ahead of the times, but when it comes to marijuana, they’re behind the times,” said local marijuana advocate Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). “They certainly would have no problems with images of alcohol. So, it’s unfortunate they’re unwilling to show an image of a safer substance.”
Tvert led two successful legalization campaigns in Denver, legalizing the simple possession of marijuana for adults in the city. He attempted a statewide initiative in 2006, but the initiative failed.
Colorado pot advocates are gearing up for a legalization ballot initiative in 2012. They expect to receive the support of the Just Say Now campaign.
Wayward Bill Chengelis, chairman of the U.S. Marijuana Party of Colorado, said it is reasonable to believe that following the 2012 elections, Colorado will have legalized marijuana, and it won’t be solely regulated to medicinal use.
“It’s not far fetched as it sounds,” said Chengelis. “In 2006 we voted to legalize adult use and lost at 43 percent. However, the demographics changed, are changing, and you could be part of the change.”
At last weekend’s Cannabis Festiva festival at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Chengelis proposed the Cannabis Habitation Colorado movement. He is asking all “cannabis lovers” to relocate to Colorado.
“We want to turn colorful Colorado into cannabis culture Colorado,” said Chengelis, who says he has received 50 commitments from out-of-state cannabis lovers.
“We can control one geographic area in America,” added Chengelis. “Cannabis Habitation Colorado. We will have legal pot in Colorado by the year 2012.”