MassRoots and Why Instagram isn’t the “Instagram of Pot”?

Instagram, now part of Facebook, is an app-based social community for photo and video sharing. Since almost everyone is on it (well over 300 million), why would anyone need a separate app for sharing their marijuana pictures?

The well-written blog Drug Law and Policy, posits that: 

“…by allowing its users to freely post pictures of marijuana, Instagram executives, along with Instagram users, could be held criminally liable. A quick scan of Instagram’s Terms of Use reveals that:

“6. You may not use the Instagram service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose

14. You must not, in the use of Instagram, violate any laws in your jurisdiction”

Because marijuana is still federally illegal, Instagram can find a violation of terms #6 and #14 in just about any picture of or relating to marijuana. A possible justification for these broad terms is that, legally, allowing any picture that solicits the sale or promotes the use of marijuana – activities that still remain felonies under federal law – could put Instagram affiliates in harm’s way.”

Instagram’s limitations on certain tags (e.g., “#weed”) opens the doors for a marijuana start-up called Massroots that is building an online community of marijuana users. The Drug and Policy Blog calls it “literally an Instagram clone [where] the only real difference is that Massroots is exclusively for marijuana related pictures and videos. “


Massroots claims over 300,000 users in just over a year and recently filed for an initial public offering trading under the ticker MSRT.

By: Wesley