Found: Marijuana growing on Facebook
Facebook dealt the proponents of marijuana legalization a major blow when it blocked advertising that featured an image of a pot leaf from the Just Say Now campaign working to upend the nation's pot laws.
But that's not to say that there isn't a Facebook marijuana connection. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and former Facebook President Sean Parker both donated to California's marijuana legalization initiative Prop. 19 this year.
And, it turns out, that there's a crop of marijuana growing in the wilds of Facebook. It's growing in a free game called Pot Farm and its users are getting high, as in there are a lot of them: some 1.5 million each month. And the East Bay Express says the game's secretive developers could be grossing as much as $148,000 a month as users spend real money to advance in the game. (Imagine, you can get 625 pot bucks for $50, what a score!)
Pot Farm is a budding FarmVille. A disclaimer reads: "Totally beta or whatever." Players start with a field and some seed money (OK, bad pun), and they move ahead in the game by buying, planting, growing, and selling different strains of marijuana.
Social Times reporter Neil Vidyarthi interviewed "Uncle Floyd," who’s in charge of public relations for Pot Farm.
"We were watching this explosion of like, social media or whatever and Dave was like, 'It's a revolution, man, this is like the '60s.' There's all these games and it's really groovy because it seems like anyone can make them. So we thought if anyone can make them why not a couple of old hippies?" Floyd told Social Times.
Access to Pot Farm is restricted to players 21 or older. No one in the game is shown smoking pot. And, according to the East Bay Express, Facebook made Pot Farm pull a hookah pipe from the game.
I tried Pot Farm (but did not inhale). I noted that among my friends playing the game are TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and Daniel James, co-founder and CEO of game maker Three Rings Design. So I was in high-quality company.
If you are hooked on the virtual plants in Pot Farm, you can buy a stash of souvenirs here.
As they say on the Pot Farm, groovy, man.
-- Jessica Guynn