The company reverses its earlier position on prohibiting access to marijuana information
Apple was always a forward-thinking company, but sometimes even the biggest, most open-minded organizations can drop the ball. However, at least it knows when to admit it made a mistake and has backed down on a policy that seemed to have been made based on all the wrong reasons.
Apple had banned MassRoots, a social bud application that was made available across the U.S. for iOS devices. The company has decided to allow the app to reappear in the App Store, but will only make it available to those individuals in the 23 states that have legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana.
When Apple banned MassRoots, the app’s developers didn’t lash out and bad-mouth the company. Instead, they chose to produce a sensible response that addressed the issue professionally and maturely. The developers stated, “[T]he current App Store rules … [limit] consumer choice to dispensary locators and strain guides, preventing the innovation that the App Store has spawned for countless other industries. In the cannabis sector, these innovations will allow patients to more effectively communicate, to have their medicine delivered directly to their homes, and will allow the industry to operate in a safer and more efficient manner.
“The App Store’s program license agreement makes it clear that Apple bears no legal responsibility for the apps distributed through its platform. Apps such as Uber and Lyft are illegal in many localities in which they are available – however, like cannabis-related applications, there is strong demand for these services among Apple customers.
“We are not asking for Apple to endorse cannabis-related applications or their content; we are simply requesting that Apple’s customers have the right to download marijuana Apps if they so choose.”
That response may have been the impetus for Apple to reconsider its position. In a follow-up to show that they harbored no ill will against Apple, the developers published a thank you, stating, “We want to thank the App Store for adopting the cannabis community and continuing to set an example as a socially-progressive institution. We’re eager to start a new chapter with Apple where we could work together to influence meaningful societal shift “