Canada is on the verge of a nationwide legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. The United States already has 29 states where medical marijuana is legal and about nine others where cannabis recreational use is perfectly legit.
But YouTube, headquartered in San Bruno city in California, where the recreational use of marijuana became legal on Jan. 1, is cracking down on cannabis-themed content.
From San Francisco, founder of cannabis-based channel “Loaded Up Entertainment” Dontae told High Times that his channel was removed from YouTube after it received “three strikes” due to its ‘green’ content.
— Loaded Up Entertainment (@loadedup_ent) April 24, 2018
But there are other marijuana-related videos, which continue to run on YouTube.
Matthew Sourgoutsidis, Cannabis Content Creator, from the Toronto-based The Puff Puff Post’s sister website Higher Mentality, which focuses mainly on marijuana and entertainment, said: “As a startup functioning within the cannabis industry, there is an increasing pressure to moderate the content we produce.”
He said there is a need to “mold ideas to fit within the regulatory framework set out by content marketplaces like YouTube.”
Sourgoutsidis said he avoids footage that would encourage “overconsumption” of marijuana but he feels constrained as a creative.
“Cannabis use has always been about freedom, and as content creators, we feel the need express our choice.”
While marijuana legalization is imminent in Canada, that will not stop YouTube from striking down Canadian content it deems not suitable.
According to YouTube community guidelines, the social media platform will remove “violent or dangerous acts” or show “drug abuse, underage drinking, and smoking, or bomb making.”
Dontae’s story comes after YouTube earlier this year removed content focused on conspiracy theory.
Dontae says he is considering to moving his platform’s content elsewhere.
“We are definitely considering moving to other platforms and you have to go really go for a platform where people can go that’s not going to be censored out.”