Cable company pulls medical marijuana ads

August 16, 2006

K. Kaufmann, The Desert Sun (CA)

Time Warner Cable Desert Cities has pulled the plug on three ads promoting medical marijuana that were scheduled to debut Friday on four popular cable channels in the Coachella Valley.

The ads, produced by the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, a local medical marijuana advocacy group, had been scheduled to run every other week for three months on Comedy Central, MSNBC, the Travel Channel and Home and Garden Television, said Lanny Swerdlow, the group's president.

"They are censoring speech that they don't approve of. They should not be doing that," said Swerdlow, who found out about the cancellation only after being called by a reporter Wednesday. "They should be in the business of fostering new ideas, not trying to squelch them," he said.

Swerdlow said he had signed a contract with Time Warner on Aug. 7 and paid the company for the first month. The contract allows the company to cancel the ads, but only with 14 days' prior notice, he said.

Swerdlow also expects a full refund of the money.

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