Weed and Social Media, what's smart and what's not?
These posts are often well-received and get a lot of likes, but is it really in your best interest to share your selfies exhaling a massive cloud of smoke or the photos of your extravagant ganja garden? Short answer: it depends, but usually no.
So what exactly are the parameters here? Is it okay as long as it’s educational and not offensive to anyone? Or is it a better idea to just keep it private? Do prospective employers and law enforcement monitor social media? Unfortunately there is a large grey area regarding this topic.
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Let’s begin with a friendly reminder from the US government which states that Instagrammed weed pictures could land you in jail with a hefty, six-digit fine. Yes, it’s excessive. Yes, it’s insane. And yes, unfortunately, it is within their scope due to Instagram’s strict terms and conditions.
This doesn’t just happen on Instagram, however. Law enforcement agencies monitor numerous social media platforms to arrest dealers and users alike.
Seventeen-year-old Mikayla Rock from St. Mary Parish, Louisiana learned this lesson the hard way. According to a statement from the local sheriff’s office, “a detective with the narcotics division saw a picture of people with marijuana on a social media site and began an investigation. Detectives showed up at the terrified teen’s home and found her to be in possession of an illegal drug.”
But cops aren’t the only ones watching your online activities. An article from Fortune emphasizes the negative impact weed pictures can have on your future. "Being seen smoking marijuana on social media could have serious implications on both your professional and personal lives," the article states.
“One minimises their potential employment and earning capacity which may, in the end, affect their life. In addition, for instance: in a child custody battle, the pictures of anyone conducting any illegal activity or questionable moral turpitude could affect the outcome of custody.”
Posting photos and videos of plants, on the other hand, can be acceptable depending on the circumstances. In Colorado, for example, cannabis law and criminal defense lawyer Lauren Davis mentions, “Posting pictures of the plants is lawful under Amendment 64. The open and public issue relates to consumption. It is legal to display marijuana openly and publicly. It is not legal to consume marijuana openly and publicly.”
Makes sense. And that seemingly applies to other areas as well. So long as your grow operation is compliant with local laws, it’s perfectly okay to keep on posting those awesome pictures and videos of beautiful pot gardens. Some might worry, however, about the small issue of cannabis still being federally illegal.
SELLING WEED ONLINE
Although this isn’t so common, there are some people out there who actually choose to sell weed online… to strangers. It’s one thing to post deals and announcements if you own a dispensary or something to that extent, but to just write out a public post encouraging people you don’t know to buy drugs from you, that might not be the smartest move. And in case you were wondering, yes, these people get arrested more often that you would imagine.
“The basic lack of understanding on display here about how the internet works either means a shocking amount of users don’t realize how easy they are to trace, or maybe more likely, that they don’t really care,” states an article from Digital Trends. “Instagram nonchalance may be a private investigator’s new best friend.”
At the end of the day, whether you choose to post cannabis-related content or not is entirely up to you. Our advice: if you aren’t in the cannabis industry, it’s probably best to keep it under wraps. There are still plenty of people who remain closed-minded on the subject, despite this current age of greater cannabis acceptance.
If you really do want to show of your beautiful plants and buds, you can always send them to us!