On Monday social media giant Facebook did an about face on their previous policy and unblocked marijuana legalization ads from advocacy group “Just Say Now,” ads that had been blocked going back to 2010.

More than 15,000 supporters signed an online petition calling for Facebook to bring back the latest batch of Just Say Now ads, catching the eye of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California.

The two free speech groups approached Just Say Now and Students for Sensible Drug Policy — which had found itself in a similar situation — about appealing to Facebook. Electronic Frontier Foundation activism director Rainey Reitman and ACLU staff attorney Linda Lye said they held several discussions with Facebook executives from Wednesday to Friday. Lye said the Facebook representatives were “quick to admit” they had either misinterpreted or failed to follow Facebook advertising guidelines.

“Their position was very clear — and we certainly applaud it — which is that Facebook is a neutral platform,” Lye said. “It does not weigh in on political advocacy, and it was a mistake to reject the ads.”

Facebook allowing these ads will certainly bode well for legalization efforts this year, and hopefully sets a precedent in the company for future election cycles.

The internet and its communication capabilities are the future of politics. How long Facebook will lead the way in social media is anyone’s guess, but at the very least they have the cash to continue to compete for several years to come. Good decisions on their part will add years to their dominance of the medium. They can be used as a great way to raise awareness about cannabis.

– Joe Klare

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