Why Does PayPal Have a Problem With Medical Marijuana?

By chillinwill · Oct 14, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Our friends at NORML have run into a weird misunderstanding with the folks at PayPal. Apparently, the company has a vague drug policy and they've chosen to interpret it rather broadly:

    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 from collectives, we were violating their Acceptable Use policy, which says, “you may not use PayPal in the purchase or sale of narcotics.”

    It's absurd on so many levels:

    1. It's medical marijuana, not "narcotics." It's perfectly legal under state law and even the federal dept. of justice has agreed to respect state policies.

    2. California NORML isn’t buying or selling medical marijuana. They're accepting donations and listing their sponsors. In no way does this violate the terms of PayPal's acceptable use policy.

    3. Even after California NORML removed listings for collectives, PayPal maintained that there was a problem with listing physicians on its site. Physicians? They don't even provide medical marijuana, so now you start to get the idea that PayPal is just being nasty. Do they want NORML to stop mentioning marijuana altogether?

    But here's the really unbelievably stupid thing about all this:

    4. You can buy alcohol on PayPal. You can straight-up order booze through PayPal and have it delivered to your door, but they have a problem with NORML merely taking donations from folks in the medical marijuana industry?

    There is no excuse for this. PayPal is under no legal obligation whatsoever to behave this way and their hypocrisy must not be allowed to go unnoticed. This isn’t even a question of medical access. No marijuana was even being sold through their service. This is about the freedom of PayPal clients to associate with their patrons without being subjected to false and erroneous restrictions that reek of political prejudice.

    by Scott Morgan
    October 13, 2009
    Stop The Drug War Blog

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  1. Alfa
    Paypal doesn't have a problem with medical marijuana. They love it, because it allows paypal to run with the money once more...

    Seizing accounts is a highly profitable activity for paypal. Paypal seizes many accounts for the most bizarre reasons. Did you ever sent money to someone that had trouble with paypal? Did you ever log to your account from another country? Kiss your money goodbye.
  2. chillinwill
    So what does PayPal do? If you have money in your account and they seize it, are they keeping the money in it thus making it profitable? I have never really paid attention to PayPal's policy or how this works
  3. Alfa
    Yes, when your account is frozen, that you need to jump trough a variety of hoops, enough to make you pull your hair out. This happens for simple reasons and many account holders encounter this.
    But in more serious situations, like I mentioned in my post above, the account gets seized. This is normally for the duration of 3years. During this time the money is theirs. Its also possible that they seize the account and close it after 3 years. This will normally mean that you loose your money and paypal has confiscated it.

    And guess at what time this normally happens? When you put a lot more money on it than usual.
  4. old hippie 56
    Isn't that what happen to the forum original PP account?
  5. Alfa
  6. Joe Duffy
    Gee I hope you eventually got the money, the PayPal scumbag fokkers froze my

    account once for no real reason, thankfully it was for only two weeks+, but it

    was one extreme pain in the ass to deal with these people, I wasn’t sure were

    they really really stupid or just taken the p*ss out of me, now they have more

    information stored about me somewhere than any organisation in Republic of

    Ireland, which I don’t particularly like but can’t do nothing about it.
  7. Alfa
    Paypal froze the account when one member described drugs-forum in the transfer note. This was in 2007. I saw problems coming and quickly tried to empty the account. Some money was indeed lost forever, but I got most out in time.
  8. EscapeDummy
    How are they able to do this? Sounds like dishonest, quite shady business practices...
  9. Alfa
    people agree with this when they sign up.
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