by Chris Bodenner

Ryan Grim has a fantastic post on Facebook's decision to ban ads promoting pot legalization in California. The site originally agreed to run the ads but reversed itself because the image of a marijuana leaf runs counter to its policy:

Facebook's ad rules, however, only ban promotion of "[t]obacco products," not smoking in general. Since the 1970s, shops selling marijuana paraphernalia have sought ways around the law by disingenuously claiming their products are "for tobacco use only." The Just Say Now Nation-facebook-like-3campaign is arguing the exact opposite: No, really, it's for marijuana, not tobacco. 

The censorship is a blow to the campaign, which is gathering signatures on college campuses calling for legalization and registering young people to vote. "It's like running a campaign and saying you can't show the candidate's face," said Michael Whitney of, a blog that is part of the Just Say Now coalition.

Conservative college students condemned the site's restrictions. "Our generation made Facebook successful because it was a community where we could be free and discuss issues like sensible drug policy. If Facebook censorship policies continue to reflect those of our government by suppressing freedom of speech then they won't have to wait until Election Day to be voted obsolete," Jordan Marks, the head of Young Americans for Freedom, told HuffPost in an email.

On the other hand, the controversial cocaine scene in the Facebook movie "The Social Network" won't be censored after all.

(Image via Design Milk)