Cannabis liberty denied free speech.

A month ago, the US Supreme Court declared that corporations are essentially people and have the free speech rights of persons, especially to influence elections with vast amounts of money. During this time actual people supporting the end of the prohibition and persecution of cannabis have seen their free speech rights denied.

  • A NORML ad on the economic benefits of cannabis prohibition repeal and taxation was rejected by CBS corporation. Check out the ad here. Decide for yourself if it is immoral.
  • A YouTube event to allow participants a chance to ask President Obama a question via video was censored. Video inquiries regarding the end of cannabis prohibition were the most common, yet they were ignored by YouTube. The free speech was trounced of all those submitting questions about marijuana. The President was denied the opportunity to even learn of the true interests of the audience addressing him.

Paul Armentano covered the CBS ad rejection in an AlterNet article. CBS and/or the ad buyer, Neutron media suggested the ad was rejected on “moral” issues. Armentano points out that unjust cannabis prohibition laws have resulted in 20 million needless arrests since 1965.

  • Each arrest is a soul-killing, criminal record-establishing, family-smashing, career-destroying, big-government travesty. The prohibition of marijuana and the legal persecution and incarceration of those breaking this unjust law ranks high among America’s worst, least effective and most destructive policies. For a citizen’s group like NORML seeking to right this wrong to be denied the opportunity to buy ad space from a company supported, in great part, by alcohol ads, is ludicrous. The claim that it was doing so on “moral” grounds, is particularly nauseating.

Even more troubling than this rejection by old media such as CBS was the stab in the back reformers took from new media resource, YouTube. Unable to communicate the benefits of ending cannabis prohibition to the president directly, patriots have been effective at using Web-based events to bring this vital issue to Barack Obama’s attention.

In the YouTube question opportunities, people could make short YouTube videos addressing the president. Many did, with the largest number of questions again asking the president to end cannabis prohibition. President Obama, as it turned out, never got any such questions nor was made aware of their rank as question number 1. Instead, YouTube organizers took it upon themselves deny their participant’s free speech by ignoring such questions, along with hiding this #1 audience interest from the Chief Executive. WTF?

YouTube’s owner, Google, if it participated in such censoring, violated its own basic creed, To Do No Evil. The censoring of people speaking knowledge to power by YouTube was a corporate action of true social evil. Such actions delay the day the bloated cancer of America’s war on its own people, marijuana consumers, comes to an end.

2 thoughts on “Cannabis liberty denied free speech.

  1. These episodes are disturbing, yes. Wrong, yes. But they’re hardly a violation of free speech rights. The First Amendment protects your rights against government restriction of speech only. Individuals and corporations are not required to give you a platform.

    If you had advertising on this site, you would be completely in the right to deny ad space to some product or service – you’re not required to accept ads you find objectionable.

    With Google, it appears that they encouraged speech — even ours. They just weren’t interested in listening. And nowhere is there a right to require people to listen to your speech.

    The issue is not free speech. The issue is that CBS and Google — both giant companies that have a corporate responsibility to their customers and shareholders— should be more open to being inclusive of our issues, both in terms of being a good corporate citizen, and in terms of good business sense (as this is no longer a fringe issue).

  2. Pete, thanks for your comment. You are of course right that this is not a 1st amendment issue and a better term than free speech might have been “stifled voice.” Whatever, it is still damn frustrating.
    Don

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