Nov. 16 (UPI) — Some marijuana companies in Washington State have violated state law in their social media posts, according to a study.
A study, published in JAMA Network Open, analyzed 1,027 posts from six recreational marijuana companies promoted on Facebook and Twitter.
The six companies’ social media followings varied between 342 and 1,592 on Facebook, and 374 and 2,915 on Twitter.
Researchers kept an eye out for any language or imagery that violated the state’s enforcement codes.
Nine of the social media posts targeted teens directly, including one showing an image of Kermit the Frog favoring marijuana use over alcohol.
In October, the state liquor and cannabis board held off an a plan to take all marijuana-infused candies off store shelves. The board said “We found that we have approved some products that would meet the definition of especially appealing to children,” in a presentation. The state walked back the plan after receiving backlash from marijuana companies.
Washington state regulations prohibit messages from marijuana companies that promote overconsumption of the drug, that describe its “curative or therapeutic benefits” or that appeal to young people in any way.
The study showed that more than 13 percent of the postings promoted some therapeutic benefit to marijuana, and 69 percent of those posts came from one company.
Conversely, regulations require messages that warn users of intoxication risks, against marijuana influence while driving, health risks associated with the marijuana and age restrictions for the drug.The data showed only 11 percent of the social media posts from marijuana companies showed these messages.
Nearly 2 percent of the social media posts encouraged overconsumption.
Potential health impacts of marijuana include negative affects on concentration, coordination and judgment, and the possibility of becoming addicted.