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Paypal No Pal Of Medical Marijuana

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director October 13, 2009

    California NORML Release – Oct 12, 2009

    Paypal, the well-known internet payment company has told California NORML that it will no longer accept payments to our “type of business” because we accept listing payments from cannabis-recommending physicians.

    After years of offering free listings to physicians and collectives at our website http://www.canorml.org, CaNORML began charging a yearly listing fee to cover our costs last year.

    PayPal froze CaNORML’s account in June, saying that by accepting listing fees fromcollectives, we were violating their Acceptable Use policy, which says, “you may not use PayPal in the purchase or sale of narcotics.” Although narcotics were not being sold over the CaNORML site, we reluctantly agreed to stop accepting listings fees from collectives that dispense medical marijuana, recognizing that even though they are legal under state law, they are illegal under federal law.  However, we  continued to accept payments online from doctors, attorneys, and members.

    Now PayPal has stopped accepting payments from the CaNORML site because we continued to accept listing payments from physicians.

    Under a ruling upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court (Conant v. Walters, 2003), physicians have the first amendment right to discuss and recommend medical marijuana for their patients, although they may not distribute it or help patients in finding it. PayPal was informed of this and wrote back, “We are not arguing the legality of this issue; we are simply stating that we have made the business decision to not be involved with this type of business.”

    Because of its discriminatory policy and  disregard of physicians’ first amendment rights, CaNORML submits that PayPal is not the “type of business” to be used by those who advocate for human rights. We will file a complaint with the federal banking committee over their practices.

    Located in San Jose, California, PayPal was founded in 1998 and was acquired by eBay (California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s former company)  in 2002.

    Complain to: PayPal, 2211 N 1st St, San Jose 95131 (408) 376-7400

    Dale Gieringer, CA NORML

    [Statement of Paypal’s Accceptable Use]

    Hello,

    We appreciate the fact that you chose PayPal to send and receive payments for your transactions.

    Under the Acceptable Use Policy, you may not use PayPal in the purchase or sale of narcotics, steroids, certain controlled substances, products that present a risk to consumer safety or drug paraphernalia.  PayPal makes such decisions after reviewing laws, regulations and other actions by governmental agencies, other available evidence, and marketing content related to the product.

    The complete Acceptable Use Policy can be found at the following URL:
    http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/gen/ua/use/index_frame-outside

    To learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy, please refer to our Help Center page here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/helpweb?cmd=_help

    We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales at http://www.canorml.org/prop/collectivetips.html.  PayPal cannot be used to accept fees for listing information related to marijuana dispensaries, delivery services and cannabis physicians.

    84 Responses to “Paypal No Pal Of Medical Marijuana”

    1. Tony says:

      This is one of those things to not be terribly upset about. It’s a shame, and you’ll have to find another way to transfer funds, but you can’t be too mad about this. They are not being anti-pot or anti-legalization here, the company is just protecting itself. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Paypal isn’t an advocate for reform, it’s a business with stockholders. They have a duty to those people and if they get involved in a complicated lawsuit then other people with money invested in the company get screwed. There is no reason for NORML to be the cause of that kind of thing.

      [Editor’s note: Paypal is being short-sighted and too deferential to law enforcement in discriminating against doctors and organizations that LAWFULLY engage in medical cannabis commerce. That the federal government is one of the last holdouts to accept medical cannabis’ utility is no good reason why the stockholders at eBay (the parent company of Paypal) should not benefit from the use of Paypal by cannabisbusinesses.

      After all, the company’s very business model is to facilitate online commercial transactions efficiently and safely, therefore does it not logically follow that the managers and stockholders want to see MORE transactions, not less.

      If the managers at eBay and Paypal are dyed-in-the-wool capitalists they’d be arguing for personal freedom, privacy and commerce rather than supporting prohibition, anti-business practices that conflict with their self-interests and government interference in the free market.]

    2. Cory says:

      THIS IS INSANE!!!! Could there be a crueler case of discrimination?!?! Why don’t we all just let the sick suffer and die off then and stop serving doctors, hospitals, pharmacies etc. too? Jesus Christ this is disgusting.

      EVERYONE CALL AND COMPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m never using Paypal again until this changes.

    3. Jonny says:

      PayPal should focus its efforts on improving its payment system and lowering cost to clients rather than policing the morals of its users. Let’s find examples of businesses using PayPal to sell alcohol and see if PayPal will cut those customers off too.

    4. That sucks i love pay-pal when im on ebay. Now im gona havta complain and not use it. MY KINGDOM FOR SOME LOGIC AND UNDERSTANDING. What has pot done to the world to be hated so? You dont see stoners lining the gutters and alleyways with track marks up and down the arm. We dont suck dick to get a joint. We dont even have cold sweats and hallucinations when we quit. Ive seen 3 family members WASTE away literally cuz of cigarettes. I almost wasted away because of meth. Pot is innocent and ive had my fuckin fill of stupidity.

    5. Cliff says:

      Papal is now boycotted. I hope they lose a huge revenue stream and that potential goes to the next green entrepreneur. Forget paypal not working with us rather remember the day we began working for ourselves. We can show them the power of the collective people against the tyrannical corporation called government. Don’t wait till we are a single number in a single world bank with imposed servitude to taxation for generations to come. How dare my liberty be restricted by religious ideology, corporate greed or overpowering government control. The time is now more than yesterday to stand up and prevent the destruction of a free tomorrow. Yes we cannabis! (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    6. Paul Kim says:

      boycott!

    7. MikeCann says:

      That phone number is allowing me to get to a customer service rep. Just directs me to their online website. I’ve got a better phone number. Ignore their voice commands and press “0” twice. 402-935-2050. They will ask for your email, account info. If you don’t have one or don’t want to give it, just let them know you are calling to register a complaint about their terms of service and this issue. Mention NORML.org’s story on it…I’m on hold right now asking for the press department as I’m trying to get a comment from them for a story on examiner.com and my blog on it..

    8. MikeCann says:

      That phone number is NOT allowing me to get to a customer service rep. Just directs me to their online website. I’ve got a better phone number. Ignore their voice commands and press “0? twice. 402-935-2050. They will ask for your email, paypal, ebay account info. If you don’t have one or don’t want to give it, just let them know you are calling to register a complaint about their terms of service and this issue. Mention NORML.org’s story on it…I’m on hold right now asking for the press department as I’m trying to get a comment from them for a story on examiner.com and my blog on it..

    9. Your portrayal of paypal as SATAN the DEVIL is right on . While they accept money for sale of prescription drugs or Alcohol ( Wine sales in particular ) which kill more people than anything they will not have anything to do with marijuana .I already stated in a previous post

      NOT TO VOTE WITH MEG WHITMAN

      because of her ties with , John McCain whose wife made her millions off of drug sales ( alcoholic beverages ) & he wanted to keep up the raids & closures of The Dispensaries.( See the ties here of Alcohol & marijuana ? )Her ads here in , California say she will bring ” NEW ” ideas to California . She is the DEVIL herself with lies and deception and her lust for Power .A vote for her and we will be turning the clock back on cannabis progression .

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