Did the techies over at Facebook HQ just get some bad shit from their supplier? Because all the sudden it’s like they got it out for cannabis collectives. The social media giant shut down pages operated by three of New Jersey’s five medical marijuana dispensaries, according to the Associated Press. Maybe they just have it out for the state of New Jersey.
It’s a move that could really F with patients in the Garden State. Facebook isn’t just used to promote the collectives’ services. It informs locals which strains a certain dispensary is currently supplied with and gives them a place to comment and let each other know if the stuff provided by said dispensary is any good.
The collectives affected by Facebook’s censorship are Garden State in Woodbridge, Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, and Breakwater Treatment and Wellness in Cranbury. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the pages were “removed for violating our Community Standards.”
One patient of Garden State, 40 year-old Amy Marie Keller, told the AP that she knows which strains are best for treating her Variegate Porphyria, an illness which shrinks the amount of oxygen in her blood, putting her at risk for intestinal complications and seizures. Blackwater, Sour Diesel, and Nigerian Haze can all be limited in supply and Keller relies on the dispensary’s Facebook page for daily updates on the strains’ availability.
“Now I have no idea,” she said. “I tried calling but they didn’t pick up. Probably everybody is calling. I would hate to tie up their phone lines and bother them every morning about that.”
“It’s doing a real disservice to the patients of New Jersey,” said Coalition for Medical Marijuana board member Peter Rosenfeld. “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.”
Aaron Epstein, the general counsel and general manager for Garden State, Keller’s dispensary, isn’t happy about the social network’s move against legitimate businesses, but he won’t let it stop him from reaching people in need of his collective’s services. “If Facebook doesn’t want to be a part of that, that’s their prerogative,” he said. “We’ll find other avenues to get information to our patients.”
Pic via covermyfb.com