A Minnesota-based medical marijuana company is battling Google after the web giant reportedly blocked its attempts to advertise online.
According to the Star Tribune, Vireo, the parent company of Minnesota Medical Solutions, was unable to purchase a series of online ads due to Google's policy against promoting "dangerous products or services."
Google did not respond to requests from the Tribune for a comment, but their guidelines, which prohibit advertisements for everything from explosives and tobacco to "recreational drugs and drug-related equipment," state: "We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury."
But Vireo states that they are only looking to advertise medical marijuana as a pharmaceutical.
“As a physician, it’s hard to understand why Google willingly accepts ads that promote highly addictive painkillers, like OxyContin, that are responsible for thousands of deaths each year, but knowingly rejects medical cannabis ads that could, in many cases, be a significantly safer therapeutic option for patients,” Dr. Kyle Kingsley, the founder and CEO of MinnMed and Vireo, said in a statement.
"I think it is going to be challenging for Google to explain why it is comfortable accepting advertisements from companies that promote the sale of alcohol, knives, hatchets and infidelity, but is uncomfortable accepting ads from medical cannabis companies," he continued. "We don’t live in a black-and-white world, and Google ought to adopt more thoughtful and nuanced advertising policies.”
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