Google currently does not permit ads to be linked to the words “marijuana” or “cannabis”, but that may change eventually.
The most dominant Internet company recently gave a $120,000 donation of services to the medical marijuana advocacy group Michigan Compassion.
The services are in the form of advertising through Google’s Adwords program to be used to promote medical cannabis.
The ads will still not be linked to “cannabis” or “marijuana” search terms. Instead they’ll be triggered by terms like “chemotherapy nausea”.
A Google spokesman said that the company is allowing the ads because Michigan Compassion does not directly supply cannabis or paraphernalia. The group only helps to educate the public and link patients with dispensaries.
Google seems to be treading very lightly into the medical marijuana arena, but this first step may be a sign of things to come as medical marijuana becomes more accepted as a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals — and God knows we see enough advertising from those companies.