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⚠️ #PressFreedom: Writing about #cannabis is a crime (but should not be)! ⚠️
On November 3, 2021, the Magazin Legalizace and its editor-in-chief, Robert Veverka, were convicted of inciting and promoting “toxicomania” by the district court in Bruntál, Czech republic.
Prosecuted since summer 2020 for “inciting and promoting toxicomania”, they were given a 1-year prison sentence (added to 2,5 years probation) and a 2000€ fine.
The judge admitted that the Legalizace magazine gives the impression of a very #objective medium, as it provides broadscale, comprehensive information and expert opinions as well as insight into the medical aspects of cannabis. Nonetheless, he proclaimed the reason for his verdict is that some of the articles may incite the desire in certain individuals to acquire equipment that could enable them to grow, harvest, process, and use cannabis in a way that is illegal.
The judge also stated that if the printed photographs depict cannabis flowers evidently covered with resin, these images cannot be of industrial cannabis without psychoactive properties. According to the judge, such content is a temptation to readers; almost every issue of the magazine allegedly possesses the capability of influencing the conduct of readers and inciting them to abuse addictive substances. Although the majority of the articles found in the published magazine issues are legally sound.
In a word: prosecuting high-quality independent journalists because of the photos accompanying their articles… photos, it should be recalled, of living beings pertaining to the Plantæ kingdom.

The verdict is not final, the defendants are waiting for the written statement of the reasons for the court’s decision to be issued and will use this time to consider a possible appeal. The verdict has caused considerable outrage among the lay and expert public alike, which is calling on the newly appointed Chamber of Deputies to update the outdated legislation on psychoactive substances and the specific section of the law referring to the inciting and promoting of toxicomania.

If you care about freedom of the press, you are encouraged to donate to the transparent crowdfunding campaign set up:

The funds collected will be used to cover the costs of the lawsuit and for the further fight for freedom of expression.

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