Update Instagram's Terms of Service to Include the Cannabis Community

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On Instagram’s release date October 6, 2010, only five states allowed medical cannabis consumption. As we approach Instagram’s eighth birthday, laws are changing. Currently nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, and 30 states allow medicinal use. But it’s not just the US, legalization has gone global. On July 1, 2018, Canada became the first G7 country to pass nationwide recreational laws. Even Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, Croatia, The Czech Republic and Australia have all passed medical, small possession or decriminalization legislation. 

It seems the only place legalization is not happening, is on Instagram.

Today, legal cannabis producers, processors, retailers, ancillary businesses, advocates and influencers are all targeted by Instagram’s Terms of Service. Pages are deactivated without warning, while Instagram provides zero transparency as to why. Years of work gets deleted at the click of a button.

Instagram claims to foster community, while ours is targeted. The legal cannabis industry employs an estimated 165,000 people in the United States and Washington alone has generated $686 million in excise tax revenue since i502’s implementation. We aren’t a community of criminals. We are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, entrepreneurs and even grandparents who make a legal living while contributing to the economy.

We ask Instagram, please update your Terms of Service to reflect changing cannabis laws. Stop targeting legal businesses, advocates and influencers. End the censorship and suppression of cannabis content. Allow pages to promote posts and be verified. Most importantly, we ask Instagram to provide greater transparency surrounding their Terms of Service.

Our community wants to play by Instagram’s rules. We don’t want our products in the hands of minors, nor do we want pages tricking people into online sales. What we do want is to educate consumers on products, events and legalization. If Instagram does not update their Terms of Service, the #cannabiscommunity will be forced to take our 10.2 million hashtags to another platform.

Instagram, please do the right thing. Update your Terms of Service, stop targeting cannabis content and allow our community to exist peacefully on your platform. Legalization is here to stay and we hope you will support our industry as we continue to grow.