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Czech Republic journalist convicted of publishing cannabis magazine

Robert Veverka, of cannabis magazine Legalizace, was convicted of ‘inciting the abuse of addictive substances’.



Robert Veverka launched the Czech Republic’s first cannabis magazine.

Via Cannareporter

A journalist in the Czech Republic has been found guilty of ‘inciting drug addiction’ having published a magazine to educate people about cannabis. 

Journalist Robert Veverka, director of the Czech-based cannabis magazine Legalizace, was convicted this week of ‘inciting the abuse of addictive substances’ and ‘spreading drug addiction through his magazine’.

In what has been described as an ‘attack on freedom of information and expression’, the Czech courts appear to be in contradiction with the country’s recent progressive approach to cannabis. 

Just a month ago, government officials announced the country’s intention to legalise the adult-use of cannabis.

Veverka had previously appealed a conviction and sentence handed to him during an initial trial in November 2021.

After more than a year of arm wrestling with justice, he was again convicted by the Regional Court of Ostrava on Thursday, 2 March for ‘spreading drug addiction through his magazine’.

The news was announced yesterday by his friend and business partner Lukas Hurt in a post on LinkedIn.

Photo: Lukas Hurt/LinkedIn

It is not yet clear what the court’s sentence was or whether Veverka now faces imprisonment.

Education is not a crime

Speaking to Portugal-based cannabis media outlet Cannareporter last year, Veverka said: “I was convicted because of a bad law, which we call the ‘rubber law’, because it is very flexible. It includes a paragraph which says that the promotion of illegal substances, with the exception of alcohol, can be considered a crime.”

According to the journalist: “It was a double process: both I and my company, responsible for editing the magazine, were sued.”

Legal proceedings began in the summer of 2020 and were brought to trial in the District Court of Bruntál on 3 November 2021, after which both were found guilty.

The court observed that ‘only one article would have been enough [for the court] to find me guilty of promoting an illegal drug,’ Veverka explained.

The Legalizace magazine, founded in 2010, was the Czech Republic’s first cannabis magazine and aimed to provide information about all aspects involving the cultivation of hemp and the use of the plant. Its content included articles on the medicinal properties of the plant and harm reduction, among other related issues. 

Throughout his legal battle, Veverka has continually used the slogan: ‘education is not a crime’.

“Current laws and prohibition in the Czech Republic cause more problems than cannabis itself,” Veverka told Cannareporter in 2021.

He has experienced this first-hand with his case being an example of the deprivation of freedom of information, expression and censorship in a ‘democratic’ Europe.

Who is Robert Veverka?

In addition to his roles as director, editor and journalist, Veverka is also a political activist and president of the NGO He is a member of the Commission for the Coordination of Drug Policy of the Municipality of Prague and the Commission for Safety and Education of the Municipality of Prague 2, and sits on the advisory board for CzecHemp and the property management company Trade Centre Praha.

He is also the editor of the magazine Konopi and its English version, Cannabis Therapy.

Veverka’s friends and colleagues are now asking for support to help him cover his legal costs and to continue to champion independent cannabis journalism.

You can donate to help Veverka using the details below:

IBAN: CZ4320100000002900469065


Fio banka, as, V Celnici 1028/10, 117 21 Praha 1

This article was originally published by Cannareporter and is reprinted here with permission. 

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