With just days to go before Canada legalizes adult recreational marijuana sales, social media giant Facebook Inc. has ended its block on cannabis and related search results for pages on its platform.
The company told Marketwatch about the change and spokeswoman Sarah Pollack said, “We are constantly working to improve our search results so that we minimize the opportunity for people to attempt illicit drug sales while showing content that is allowed on Facebook and is relevant to what you are searching.”
She added, “When searching ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana,’ Pages that have been verified for authenticity will now be included in search results.”
Marijuana-related search results for categories such as posts, pages and events had been filtered by Facebook in the last year due to people using Facebook to sell the drug.
Starting now, Facebook members all over the globe will be able to find cannabis-related pages that carry the company’s “gray” and “blue” verification symbols via search terms such as “marijuana.”
“It’s about time that Facebook caught up with the majority of Americans who think that marijuana should be treated like a legal product,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the nonprofit advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project.
Tvert continued, “A growing majority of Americans think that marijuana should be legal, and a growing number of countries and states are making it legal. I think it’s a great development and a wise move by Facebook as it’s trying to reconnect with the online community that it has turned off in so many ways.”
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a broader evolution on this subject and hopefully they will be starting to treat marijuana like other content,” Tvert said.