Journalist Robert Veverka, editor-in-chief of the magazine Legalizace, was convicted this week by the regional court of Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, for “inciting the abuse of addictive substances” and for “spreading drug addiction through his magazine”. In a clear attack on freedom of information and expression, the Czech Republic thus contradicts itself with regard to its progressive approach to cannabis. Just a month ago, the country announced its intention to present a project to legalize the adult use of cannabis.
After more than a year of arm wrestling with justice, the Czech journalist Robert Veverka, director of the cannabis publication Legalizace, was again convicted by the regional court of Ostrava for “spreading drug addiction through his magazine”, announced yesterday his friend and business partner, Lukas Hurt, via his LinkedIn profile.
While we are trying to find out if Veverka will be arrested or what exactly the court's sentence was, we remember what he himself told Cannareporter, in Spannabis last year. When we found Robert, he had already gone through a first trial, in November 2021, from which he was convicted, having subsequently appealed the sentence. “I was convicted because of a bad law, which we call the 'rubber law', because it is very flexible, which includes a paragraph that says that the promotion of illegal substances, with the exception of alcohol, can be considered a crime”.
Education is not a crime
According to the journalist, “it was a double process: both I and my company, responsible for editing the magazine, were sued”. A process that started in the summer of 2020 and went through that trial in the District Court of Bruntál on 3 November 2021, after which both were found guilty, with the observation that “only one article would have been enough to find myself guilty of promoting an illegal drug,” he explained.
The Legalizace magazine, founded in 2010, was the first cannabis magazine to appear in the Czech Republic, with the aim of informing about all aspects involving the cultivation of hemp and the use of the plant, offering articles on the medicinal properties of the same or the harm reduction, among other related issues. One of the slogans used by Veverka during this process is precisely: “Education is not a Crime”.
“Current law and prohibition in the Czech Republic cause more problems than cannabis itself”, vented Veverka, during our conversation. Unfortunately, he has felt this in his own skin, his case being a clear example of deprivation of freedom of information, expression and censorship in “democratic” Europe of the XNUMXst century.
In addition to being a director, editor and journalist, Veverka is also a political activist and president of the NGO Legalizace.cz, a member of the Commission for the Coordination of Drug Policy of the Municipality of Prague, a member of the Commission for Safety and Education of the Municipality of Prague 2, a member member of the Supervisory Board of the CzecHemp hemp cluster, editor of the magazine “Konopi” and its English version “Cannabis Therapy” and member of the Supervisory Board of the property management company Trade Center Praha.
Robert, on his own behalf, as well as friends and colleagues, are asking for support to cover legal costs and to continue to champion independent cannabis journalism. If you can, don't hesitate to support Robert Veverka, for freedom of information, which is extremely important for all of us in these times.
The bank details are as follows:
Fio banka, as, V Celnici 1028/10, 117 21 Praha 1
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