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I am building a site for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary that operates within State Law. I am having a particular problem with code from an external site (another marijuana related site). Can I post code on SO that contains words like bud or marijuana etc. There are no photos nor other content but some of this code contains drug references or drug terms as described above. Is this okay to post on SO?

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I don't see why not. The words are not illegal anywhere, are they? –  Pëkka Jan 22 '13 at 22:07
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Obligatory Ali G clip: youtube.com/watch?v=B6Sg8D2Ci0Q –  Pëkka Jan 22 '13 at 22:08
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@Pekka - No but some sites frown on items like this and I do not want offend users nor break SO rules. –  Lynda Jan 22 '13 at 22:08
    
Nope, I don't think that's going to be a problem. What's frowned upon is profanity and, say, nudity in gravatars, but other than that, I think you're cool –  Pëkka Jan 22 '13 at 22:10
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Just found this from another post: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/121312/… –  Lynda Jan 22 '13 at 22:10
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A variable name of Marijuana or a text mentioning Bud isn't NSFW. What you shouldn't do is link to, say, a porn site, or embed pornographic images, that might be a problem. But this? Meh. Don't worry too much. –  Pëkka Jan 22 '13 at 22:11
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@Pekka - Thanks for the information. This topic is touchy for some and not so much to others. All depends and since this site is such a large site I decided to ask to be sure. => –  Lynda Jan 22 '13 at 22:19
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I agree with Pekka. If those terms just happen to be in your code, so be it. It might be a problem if you were actively promoting drug use in your posts here, but casual mention of drug-related terms shouldn't be a problem. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 22 '13 at 22:21
    
But is they any other words that parents should be aware of? –  Dave Newton Jan 22 '13 at 22:33
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If History.SE doesn't mind my shroom question, I'm sure SO won't mind yours... –  Yannis Jan 22 '13 at 22:33
    
+1 @BilltheLizard, I think that we, as developers, have to remember it's only code, and sometimes developers work for medical sites and labs, who'd have a good work-defined need to use those terms. It's a profession and sometimes we need to be professional, as distasteful as that might be. (Being professional that is.) –  Greg Jan 23 '13 at 0:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I don't see the problem here. Marijuana, Bud and the like are not profanities. Hence having them in code or domain names is no problem. Someone might take offense on seeing a photo of a ganja leaf or a bong or whatever, but even that's a stretch if the image is related to the topic, and that's not what you were planning to do anyway, so....

I think you're safe. If anyone gives you trouble, let us know here, you'll certainly find people to come to your aid. You're definitely not going to violate any kind of official guideline with this.

If you're not feeling reassured, you can of course always do a search & replace and introduce some more innocuous terms. The Ali G clip I linked above gives some creative suggestions at 0:27. :)

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Years ago I was at OSCON, and attended a session for traffic monitoring and summarizing on web sites. Turned out the speaker was admin for a bunch of porn sites, which caused some people to get up and walk out. I stuck around, not because I wanted to see what he was serving, but because they were right, he was having to handle a huge amount of traffic so his techniques for monitoring and aggregating turned out to be really enlightening. It truly made me think about the stuff I could learn, even from what I considered a questionable livelihood. –  Greg Jan 23 '13 at 0:15

I don't think it'd be a problem as others have already said, but if you're concerned about how these words may be perceived, you can always anonymize your code samples. Replace variable names, etc.

Unless the nature of your site is relevant to the problems you're running into and your questions wouldn't make much sense without that context, we don't really need to know what it's about anyway.

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It's a touchy issue, and has been brought up on the Gardening site before. There's also a Medical Marijuana proposal on Area 51.

It's certainly not against the rules. While there's nothing particularly wrong with mentioning it, some people may feel more comfortable if you left those words out of your questions. I don't see it causing any problems with answers you'll receive, though. If you do mention it, I would recommend including the same disclaimer (your first sentence) at the end of your question. If you get any problems, you can always link them back here.

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