To Susan Wojcicki
From the Desk of Arend Richard, Co-founder and Creative Director of WeedTube
As cannabis legalization continues to sweep the country, there is a severe lack of education and community due to the social media censorship of this plant.
Only corporate cannabis giants who use pay-for-play sponsored posts to promote products are able to break through the noise surrounding what is to become a $35 Billion industry by 2025. And when was the last time something good came from big business being the only resource of knowledge and information? Cannabis enthusiasts suffer from a lack of community online with our content being deleted or threatened with deletion just for using the wrong hashtag or posting too many pictures of a naturally growing plant that has helped millions of people.
I should know, since YouTube deleted my channel ‘The Gay Stoner’ with over 190k subscribers in 2018, during your site’s cannabis marketing purge. My account was never recovered, so I took matters into my own hands and along with a group of other affected cannabis creators co-founded WeedTube: a safe-space for cannabis content creators to contribute to a flourishing online community and educate one another on their experiences with cannabis.
As a cannabis platform with age verification to ensure all users are adults looking to broaden their cannabis knowledge and experience, we pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment where people can express themselves and monetize their cannabis content without the constant threat of deletion. We’re all adults, shouldn’t we get to communicate and commiserate over a plant that brings people together?
So we do. We have an amazing platform of our own that destigmatizes cannabis and changes the narrative on what it means to be a “stoner”. We plan social initiatives like #Canna4Climate, an effort in between 4/20 and Earth Day to encourage cannabis consumers all over the world to clean up their local communities. We organize fundraisers for non-profits like The Trevor Project, a mission close to our hearts as an LGBTQ- owned and operated organization. We built all of this out of the ashes of what YouTube destroyed without warning or explanation.
We understand that you don’t want cannabis content on your platform. But please do not penalize YouTubers who choose to branch out to cannabis content creation by banning links to our site in YouTube descriptions. We just want to create a safe place for our content, and be allowed the same cross-promotion on all social media platforms.
With proposed legislation like the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act looming in the future, we hope YouTube will choose to be on the right side of history. We hope YouTube will allow links and cross-promotion to our site so that cannabis content creators can be informed and feel a sense of belonging on this crazy thing known as the Internet.
All the best,
Arend Richard and the WeedTube Team