CANNABIS CULTURE – Big-tech’s cull of grass-roots cannabis dissent continues. Cannabis Culture Magazine’s page is latest casualty in Instagram’s coordinated effort to silence unsanctioned cannabis voices. Our page has been throttled by shadowbans for quite some time but the move to eliminate the magazine’s page all together displays new and troubling tactics. On Monday, June 28th, Cannabis Culture published a news story about Rhode Island cannabis workers going out on a one-day strike. The story in brief — workers at a firm called Greenleaf Compassionate Care voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 328. In retaliation, Greenleaf`s CEO Seth Bock fired worker representatives on the union`s negotiating committee without cause. In response, the rank and file authorized the one day strike. This is a story we will continue to follow. But we will have to do it without the use of our agency’s Instagram page. Why? Posted to our Instagram June 28th – the last post before our account was disabled. Well, because a screenshot from the article was posted onto our Cannabis Culture Magazine Instagram. Within the hour – our page, with more than 110 thousand followers and nearly 2000 posts — was disabled — without warning or notice as to any violation of community guidelines. This may be coincidence in timing but again we have no way of knowing why the page was removed.
Thus far, all attempts to reestablish the page have proven fruitless. We have no way of knowing the reason for the ban, because Instagram will not provide us with the reason we’ve been banned. We have no means of recourse or appeal. The 27 year history of Cannabis Culture magazine has demonstrated the power of grassroots reporting on the innovations and activism in the cannabis sphere as well as the stories of creative resilience at the heart of cannabis culture and the true victims of the drug war. We continue this tradition of reporting alternative viewpoints that are ahead of the curve, providing accurate in-depth news on mainstream taboo subjects like cannabis amnesty, the embarrassment that is corporate cannabis and the next frontiers of plant medicine and human liberty — hell, we’d even reported on “Gain-of-function” research back when mentioning the possibility of a lab leak origin behind the pandemic meant an immediate ban from social media platforms. May 4th, 2021 – This photo removed from our Instagram page due to “extreme violence or sexual content” But it wasn’t then we were banned. It was at an arbitrary time after no identifiable violation to any community guidelines. No violation, no warning, no recourse. The only foreshadowing of our exile was a peculiar notice months earlier.
On May 4th – aka May the Fourth to Star Wars fans – to commemorate the day we posted the image of a humorous Mark Hamill autograph and caption. The photo received a little more than 600 likes before being removed from the platform due to “extreme violence or sexual content.” Perhaps this was a mistake by the algorithm, BUT with no recourse or explanation all we can do is speculate and wonder. Due to new rules imposed by the Facebook/instagram overlords – we cannot establish a new page with the word “Cannabis” in the username.
Cannabis Culture magazine is a news service. Cannabis Culture Magazine does not sell cannabis. Cannabis Culture Magazine reports on the cannabis movement and is funded (barely) through reader donations and ad sales. No violation of community guidelines there. Unlike most other cannabis news outlet – We are not funded by corporate cannabis – if anything, we refuse money from the new cannabis out of principle and to our own financial peril. Cannabis Culture is a voice of dissent. And a lightning rod for enforcement actions. The history of persecution of the Marc and Jodie Emery is well documented and from a professional perspective my tenure with Cannabis Culture is the only time the office I work from has been raided by law enforcement. Not in Central America, or West Africa – but here, in Canada – under Trudeau’s Liberal regime. March 9 of 2017, the Cannabis Culture offices at 307 West Hastings in Vancouver Canada are raided by a combined force of Toronto and Vancouver Police. The attack, code named `Project Gator` seized documents and any and all hard-drives on site. The fact a Canadian police service felt justified in seizing the work stations of journalists is puzzling, and it seems in hindsight a harbinger of things to come. However we will continue at our work.
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