Wikipedia Edits Russian Cannabis Page

Wikipedia Edits Russian Cannabis Page

Published: April 10, 2013 (Issue # 1754)

MOSCOW — Russian Wikipedia edited an article on cannabis smoking on Monday, after being told that it could be shut down under the Internet content law passed last year.

“The article has been edited. The user community of Wikipedia decided against removing the article” said Stanislav Kozlovsky, acting director of Wikimedia RU, Itar-Tass reported.

Wikipedia had said earlier in the day that it would only change the article if it were required to by U.S. authorities, since the web portal is based there, Vedomosti reported.

This follows a notice from the Communications and Press Ministry regulator that the page with the article was identified as “containing information prohibited for public distribution in the Russian Federation.”

The article’s popularity spiked from the usual 400 daily views to more than 56,200 views Friday, following the official Twitter message from Russian Wikipedia that the site was blacklisted.

Wikipedia decided to edit the article, keeping the site alive, pending the regulator’s satisfaction with the changes.

“The article is completely reworked. It doesn’t contain any instruction on how to make a smoking device; it never did. It’s just that it wasn’t written in a scientific style,” Kozlovsky said.

Nevertheless, the article underwent a substantial facelift. Sections such as “dosages,” “specifics of smoking cannabis,” “smoking devices,” “local cannabis names” and “literature and hyperlinks” have been removed and new sections “the effects of cannabis on the human organism” and “legal status in Russia” have been added. In addition, the words “cannabis use is prohibited in many countries” have been added to the introductory paragraph.

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