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Washington state cannabis journalist Steve Elliott, editor/owner of Toke Signals, editor of Hemp News and NW Leaf columnist, on Thursday received a 30-day ban from Facebook… for mentioning the price of legal Washington weed in a comment.

“What horrible nasty thing did he say? Who did he insult?” asks activist Cheri Sicard, also known as Cannabis Cheri. “Who did he insult? Nothing and nobody.

“The ‘offending’ post merely related the price of LEGAL medical and recreational marijuana in Washington state,” Sicard said. “He was not trying to sell said weed or advertise, merely stating the facts of the going rate in Washington state.”

In the comment thread to a humorous meme featuring a bug-eyed dog freaking out on $20 a gram weed, the discussion had turned to cannabis prices in various locales. After several others had named the prices for legal, medical, and black-market marijuana, Elliott posted:

medical dispensary weed runs $8 to $12 here; “legal” recreational weed runs $15 to $30

That was enough to get banned from posting, commenting or Liking for 30 days.

Social media behemoth Facebook is the biggest game in town, outranked in Web traffic only by Google (with which it has, not coincidentally, a thorny relationship).  As such, they seem to have become arrogant and controlling.

Two possibilities emerge: Either Facebook has decided to start banning people at the mere mention of marijuana prices (a very unlikely scenario), or someone wanted to silence Elliott’s complaints about the high price of legal I-502 recreational weed in Washington so reported the comment, out of context, and counted on Facebook to be clueless enough to ban him for “marijuana sales” without even consulting the thread (which seems to have worked spectacularly).

While either is cause for legitimate concern, we tend to view Facebook more as a big, dumb beast barely aware of what’s going on, rather than a sinister, sneaky agent of censorship. But we’ve been wrong before…

Facebook users’ reaction to the ban was swift:


Send your Feedback to Facebook here:

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