By Steve Elliott
Starting next month, Google searches for "chemotherapy nausea" will turn up an ad for medical marijuana, courtesy of the charitable arm of Google. Last week the internet search giant donated $120,000 worth of AdSense advertising to a Michigan medical marijuana advocacy group.
As part of its gift, Michigan Compassion will be promoting medical marijuana through the plain-text ads that pop up just to the right side of Google search results, reports Eleazar David Melendez of The Huffington Post.
Michigan Compassion doesn't sell medicinal cannabis, but instead connects patients with growers. The group said the ads will appear alongside searches likely to be made by cancer chemotherapy patients.
"The goal is to link the negative effects of chemotherapy and the positive effects of cannabis," said Amish Parikh, vice president of Michigan Compassion.
Google had previously maintained a strict policy against hosting ads for marijuana-related searches, even medical-marijuana searches. But its new friendliness towards the cause fits in with the culture of Silicon Valley, where tech companies and their employees have been quietly contributing to cannabis activism, according to attorney Lauren Vazquez, who is involved in the legalization movement.
"They're not the ones coming to the city council meetings to protest, but they quietly send in their donations," Vazquez said. "And they're definitely consuming the cannabis."