Instagram and Apple have begun to police their users who post information about cannabis usage. As cannabis usage has become more mainstream, people have begun to feel more at ease posting images of them partaking on social media sites. However, not everyone is happy about the increase.
Recently, Instagram has begun deleting accounts that are cannabis-related. In addition, Apple is paying close attention to apps that cater to those who indulge in recreational cannabis. The differences amongst the states regarding medicinal and recreation cannabis are to blame for social media’s struggle dealing with users who post cannabis-related material. Some companies are concerned that they could be held legally responsible for the photos their users share online.
Having social media sites, like Instagram, deleting users who post cannabis related information frequently could be detrimental to ganjapreneurs. This is because social media platforms are a great source of (verifiable) marketing in profession that is marked as being sketchy.
There is a federal law on the books that bans selling paraphernalia except “any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess or distribute such items.” Therefore, it would seem that users living in areas where recreational or medicinal cannabis is legal should be exempt from these recent events.
In some states, having your Instagram account deleted can be the least of your worries. For example, Arizona has some of the harshest anti-marijuana laws. There, if you upload a picture of yourself smoking pot, you’re admitting to possession and are subject to a felony which could lead to a $150,000 fine and a year and a half in jail.
In the grand scheme of things, Instagram doesn’t seem to have an issue with recreational weed use by individuals—except when their accounts are being used to sell the product. While this is true in theory, Instagram moderators are increasingly deleting cannabis-related users who are not looking to sell cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia.
An argument can be made, however, as to why cannabis related accounts in areas where use is perfectly legal are deleted and users anywhere can flood the social media platform with nudity and instances of bullying/harassment without any repercussions. In a perfect world, Instagram would take a thorough look their terms and conditions and make adjustments where needed.