The Russian government has distanced itself from a growing trend of international cannabis normalization with a fruitless and comedic attempt at controlling the free speech rights of a U.S. citizen.
Medical cannabis entrepreneur and educator Jerry Whiting was warned this week by the Russian government to stop distributing information online related to the growing of cannabis.
“I was flattered that I … got their attention,” Whiting told Ganjapreneur in a phone interview about the incident.
Whiting, whose personal blog Jet City Orange was targeted by essentially a Russian cease and desist order, provided Ganjapreneur with the email he received from the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (ROSKOMNADZOR). The Russain agency also cc’d Whiting’s website hosting service, who undoubtedly had a few confused head-scratching moments before moving on to actual complaints.
According to Whiting, Jet City Orange is “my personal website that I’ve had for years … it’s basically my personal soap box. Only a small portion of it concerns cannabis.”
Nonetheless, the email charges Whiting with the operation of “websites containing … information prohibited for public distribution in the Russian Federation,” with a direct link included to the medical cannabis sections of his blog. Ironically, these sections were not written, translated, or offered in any form in Russian — though Whiting says he now plans to get translations up as soon as possible to show ROSKOMNADZOR what he thinks of their figurative muscle-flexing.
“I’m talking about what I love and what I do. That’s why I was surprised that it garnered the attention outside of the U.S. … but it’s not like I have a lock or monopoly on teaching people how to grow pot,” Whiting said.
As for the letter itself: “You can bet I’m going to print it out and frame it.”
Jerry Whiting is also founder of Leblanc CNE, a company focused on the development of CBD-rich and heirloom medical cannabis strains.
You can read the letters below.