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Author Topic: Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!  (Read 5419 times)

FTL_Ian

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Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« on: December 28, 2003, 04:10:08 pm »

From DRCNet.org this week:

Cable television giant Comcast Cable is refusing to run ads from Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana (http://www.granitestaters.com), a grassroots group of patients and activists seeking to raise the profile of medical marijuana as a campaign issue. Granite Staters sought last month to buy airtime to run the ads, but was informed on December 1 that Comcast would not run them.

According to Granite Staters, a Comcast official told the group's Aaron Houston that it would not run the ads "based on its message about medical marijuana." A written explanation would be forthcoming, the official said. Two weeks later, when Houston called to inquire, the same Comcast official told him Comcast's legal department "doesn't issue written explanations."

"They denied us based solely on who we are," Houston said. "Comcast Cable is infringing on our right to speak to 21 million subscribers, even though 84% of likely voters in the upcoming election agree with our point of view. We think voters who have a vital role in picking the Democratic Party's nominee believe this is a serious and relevant issue."

It's not that Comcast shies away from drug-related ads; it's just that it seems to want to publicize only one side of the issue. Two months ago, it announced a three-year advertising pledge, valued at $50 million, allowing the Partnership for a Drug-Free America to increase exposure for anti-drug advertising on Comcast's cable systems in 35 states. The deal constituted "the largest single upfront commitment of advertising from a major media company to The Partnership in the organization's history," according to a PDFA news release. While anti-drug advertising to persuade is not automatically incompatible with medical marijuana or even broader drug policy reform, the PDFA is an organization with a known ideological bent, and some of their commercials are believed by reformers to be designed to fuel pro-drug war sentiments.

"Comcast pledged $50 million dollars to the war on drugs, yet they have censored us from raising a critical question about this policy," Houston said. "If we're going to have a drug war, can we at least take sick and dying people off the battlefield?"

This isn't the first time Comcast has censored what it considers to be "pro-drug" views. In the summer of 2002, Comcast first signed, then tore up, a contract to broadcast political issue ads by marijuana activist Ed Forchion, also known as the NJ Weedman (http://www.njweedman.com). Comcast dumped the ads and told the media Forchion was advocating the illegal use of drugs. In an interview with Preston Peet's Drug War news web site (http://www.drugwar.com/pweedmanarrested.shtm), at time of Forchion's arrest for parole violation last August, Comcast's vice-president of corporate communications told Peet the cable giant did run commercials by drug prohibition outfits, such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, but that it would not run Forchion's ads because they "promote the use of habit forming drugs or drug paraphernalia." Because of publicity generated by Comcast's decision, Forchion was illegally imprisoned as a parole violator by New Jersey officials for six months until a federal judge ordered him released.
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2003, 06:38:53 pm »

Everybody switch your Cable Provider.

Unless Comquest is a state created monopoly. (Local governments do that sometimes with Cable.)

Tracy
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Joe

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2003, 08:30:39 pm »

Is Comcast a private company?
If so, are they allowed to broadcast or not broadcast what they want?
What would the libertarian answer be if Comcast was fully private?
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2003, 08:38:09 pm »

Is Comcast a private company?
If so, are they allowed to broadcast or not broadcast what they want?
What would the libertarian answer be if Comcast was fully private?

Is comcast a monopoly? Yes. Is the monopoly acting exclusionary and removing a consumers ability to make choices? Yes.

Legitimate monopolies enhance the consumer experience. Comcast is not. Given they have submitted themselves to heavy regulation in exchange for their monopoly, this regulatory authority should be used to benefit the consumer experience. This is something we can do at the state level with the public utilities board that regulates cable television monopolies.

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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2003, 09:29:29 pm »

Is Comcast a private company?
If so, are they allowed to broadcast or not broadcast what they want?
What would the libertarian answer be if Comcast was fully private?

BoyCotte

Or simply advertize with a different cable company.

But as Mike's pointed out, they may or may not be possible because of local government franchise monopoly grants.

Tracy
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webster

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2004, 12:32:43 pm »

I am not an expert on cable companies in NH.  I did however grow up in NH and know for a fact that ComCast does not have a monopoly on the state.  My area, the Mount Washington Valley (North Conway if you want to look on a map) has been serviced by Adelphia for many years.  I now live in VT and use Charter cable and I believe they also service some areas of NH.  Actually now that I think about it, what they may have been refering to is a monopoly on the area where ComCast services.  I don't know if other parts of the country have multiple cable companies in one area but up here in most of New England (i don't know about CT or MA) it's pretty standard for an area to have just one cable provider.
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2004, 06:07:31 pm »

Thank you.

SO we can at least advertise in the cities that give the other companies the franchise monopoly right?

We can also advertise is cities where there's a free market in cable.

If there are several companies we can advertise with them. The people who live in the cities and towns that have ComCast as there local franchise monopoly or for some other reason only have that one will miss it. But we can still get a pretty decent sized part of the state.

Tracy
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Elwar

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2004, 08:12:26 pm »

I gave up on Comcast years ago even though living in an apartment they're my only choice.

I switched my cable modem over to DSL and bought a couple of rabbit ears for my 4 TV channels.

I'm moving to a different apartment complex next month and, though they also only have Comcast, I specifically asked for a Southern exposure of my balcony so that I could put my satellite dish out and watch all the channels.

They do not care one bit about their customers and this is yet another example of their disregard.


Do whatever you want if you're a Comcast customer. I just know they'll never get a dime from me again.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2004, 11:30:48 am »

Sounds like we need to raise some money, and spend it with Comcast's competitors...

Oh yeah, and make SURE Comcast knows about it.... 8)

JM
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Karl

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2004, 11:51:19 am »

Last year when I was living in DC, I tried switching to Starpower, Comcast's major competitor in the region.  Because competition is technically allowed, I imagine Comcast is not considered a monopoly.  But, a couple years ago, the DC City Council, in their infinite wisdom, placed a moratorium on "street cuts" which was the only way competitors could legally lay cable.   ::)

I'll have to find out the deal with Arlington County...
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ombrage

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2004, 09:58:01 am »

Not to condone or excuse Comcast censorship--emphatically I do not--but it seems to me extremely lame to try to contend some people cannot get proper medical care on account of illegalization of pot.

That is not the best argument for legalization of drugs.  It is not even a good argument.

The best argument is that present-day pain-relieving drugs are among the foremost advances of modern man.  They were developed in answer to a need. They should not be denied to human beings who need them.  --And, to whom are they denied?  They were denied to that man who, rather recently had to cut off his own hand to free it from an animal trap.  He had access to his first-aid kit but, of course, not to the drugs he needed.  It is a wonder he did not die of shock.  They were denied to those who were trapped atop the World Trade Center to burn up.  ( All US legislators ought, in a just world, to be forced to stand up and take a bow for their signal contribution to the unimaginable and hideous suffering endured in that situation).   They are denied to anyone who, in an automobile accident or other accident, must endure the traumatic amputation of a limb or other terrible wound for whatever amount of minutes or hours or days it takes for help to arrive (if help ever does arrive).  And they WILL be denied to you or to whoever endures the further attacks of terrorists which politicians assure us will come.  They are denied, or , at very least, made hideously expensive to very old people at the brink of their deaths.

There is no place hot enough in hell for the not-too-bright bureaucrats who think it is their job to stand between humankind and this one of himankind's greatest advances.  I can only enjoy thinking that some of them will meet their demise under extremely painful circumstances and with no access to the drugs they need.    ombrage
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lloydbob1

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2004, 10:42:47 am »

The only thing that will help with the issue of utillities is to remove all of the legal barriers to competition.
Competition will enhance the consumers chances of getting more resonable charges and responses from utillities such as cable companies.
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LeRuineur6

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2004, 11:18:35 am »

Adelphia plays these ads liberally.  (no pun intended)

But Adelphia has raised the price of my cable bill by $30 in the past few months and they're really starting to anger me, so I cannot recommend using Adelphia instead.

Use Adelphia when necessary, I guess.

And publicly pressure Comcast to change their minds.  Very publicly.   ;)
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mark

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Re:Comcast refuses Med Pot ads in NH!
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2004, 05:44:09 pm »

All media common carrier monopolies are RULED under the equal time rule which arises out of the natural right-of-way Law we all live under.

If the content of speech is protected (as the SCOTUS affirmed just a month or so ago of MedPot speech) then Big Cable needs to play the game or be socialized out of it's profits.
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