Russia Threatens to Ban Wikipedia Over Hashish Article

The Russian government is threatening to block the entirety of Wikipedia from the Russian net over a page that explains how to make Charas, a type of a hashish.

Roskomnadzor, the internet division of the Kremlin, wrote to Wikipedia administrators claiming that it would take down Wikipedia in Russia if the Charas page wasn’t removed. Apparently it can’t block just the Charas entry because of Wikipedia’s security settings: “In this case, insofar as Wikipedia has decided to function on the basis of https, which doesn’t allow restricting to individual pages on its site, the entire website would be blocked.”

Roskomnadzor briefly banned Reddit earlier this month after users posted tips on growing marijuana. It also banned memes this year.

The Wikipedia page on Internet censorship in Russia notes that more than 25 Wikipedia articles were blocked for some time since August 2015, most of which are related to drugs and suicide.

Charas, the hashish Russia apparently doesn’t want its citizens to know about, is made in India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nepal and Jamaica.

The Wikipedia article also notes that hashish found locally in Lebanon and Morocco “is sometimes called sputnik.”


Photo Credit: Cary Bass-Deschenes

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