Hey YouTube: Quit Blocking Cannabis Channels

Published on July 23, 2018 · Last updated July 28, 2020

For the past few months, YouTube has waged a war on some cannabis content. They’ve been terminating accounts and shunning the WeedTube community without any communication. But then, in the past couple of weeks or so, YouTube began reinstating these once-banned accounts, including our Leafly page, which went full-ghost for a few weeks.

Does this mean that YouTube is finally allowing cannabis to exist on its platform? No one really knows, but here are a few reasons why they should.

Cannabis Education Is Needed

With cannabis being legalized in more places, people turn to YouTube for education on how to responsibly, and knowledgeably, go about using it for both medical and recreational purposes. When YouTube shuts down cannabis-based channels, it aggressively inhibits the very legal thing it should most support: education.

While YouTube has reinstated some cannabis-based channels, the rules are still very foggy. Since YouTube won’t provide an explanation or true guidelines, we’ll wait in limbo to see if cannabis is truly allowed on their platform. Today is looking good. Tomorrow? Who knows.

It’s Legal

While there are a plethora of cannabis-related videos and channels based in illegal states, most of the WeedTube creators are based in legal states; therefore, whatever product they’re highlighting is completely legal. If these creators are doing everything by the book, and breaking no laws while doing so, they shouldn’t be punished for following the rules set forth by the government.

There Are Tons of Booze Ads

If YouTube is banning cannabis-related channels for potentially harmful content, it’s extremely hypocritical to run Bud Light ads before every video I try to watch. Everyone knows (and science proves over and over and over) alcohol is much more harmful than cannabis. So if YouTube is getting on a high horse because “cannabis is a drug,” they should do the same thing with one of the most dangerous drugs of all, booze. Judge that Jack Daniels like you do Jack Herer.

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There’s a Strong Cannabis Community Tuning In

A lot of cannabis-related channels have huge followings with loyal viewers. Take CustomGrow420, for example. The man has grown his channel into over 1.5 million subscribers. Imagine you’re one of those viewers and suddenly, out of nowhere, one of your favorite channels disappears with no explanation.

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It’s as if YouTube is telling you they don’t want your viewership. This policy alienates cannabis users and content creators and identifies them as wrongdoers and criminals, despite many local laws and public opinion skewing heavily in the other direction.

YouTube Rewards WeedTubers With Subscriber Plaques


The way YouTube works is that if your channel reaches 100,000 subscribers, they’ll send you a silver play-button plaque. If it reaches 1,000,000 subscribers, they’ll send you a gold play-button plaque.

During the slaughter of cannabis-related channels, one creator, Loaded Up Entertainment, hopped on Twitter to pose a very important question: If YouTube is deleting channels that highlight cannabis, why send these same channels plaques for subscriber milestones? It simply doesn’t make sense. Don’t tell me I’m wrong for something and also pat me on the back for it.

Cannabis Is Allowed In Celebrity Vids

While creators like Silenced Hippie, TheHighCouple, Loaded Up, and CustomGrow420 were having their hard work erased, channels like westfesttv—the home of Snoop Dogg’s GGN—are alive and well. It brings up a question that YouTube refuses to answer so far: Which cannabis content is within YouTube rules, and why? If I can’t log onto Leafly’s YouTube for educational purposes, but I can go to Wiz Khalifa’s channel and watch him get super high all day, I’d like to understand why.

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Danté Jordan
Danté Jordan
Danté Jordan is a cannabis writer based in Los Angeles. He's written for Leafly, Weedmaps, High Times, and many more publications.
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