(HuffPost) Cancer patients who Google the words “chemotherapy nausea” today get a host of advertisements for treatment, including pills, skin patches and folk remedies used to prevent vomiting. Next month, however, the same search will turn up an ad for something a bit more controversial: medical marijuana.
The change comes courtesy of the charitable unit of Google, which last week gifted a Michigan medical marijuana advocacy group $120,000 worth of its services. As part of the grant, the group, Michigan Compassion, will be able to promote medical marijuana use through Google’s popular AdWords platform — the plain-text advertisements that pop up to the right side of any given search result.
Michigan Compassion does not sell marijuana but connects patients and growers, and it says the ads will appear alongside searches likely to be made by chemotherapy patients.
“The goal is to link the negative effects of chemotherapy and the positive effects of cannabis,” Amish Parikh, vice-president of Michigan Compassion, told The Huffington Post.
The ads’ value is small in the scheme of Google’s AdWords program, which brings in over $40 billion per year in revenue, but they represent a change for the Mountain View, Calif. firm, which has a strict policy against hosting ads for marijuana-related searches.