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Head of Estonian public broadcaster invites to ignore supporters of cannabis legalization

Kanep PHOTO: Caro / Scanpix

Head of the Estonian public broadcasting company ERR Margus Allikmaa said at a meeting of executives that ERR should rule out supporting the legalization of cannabis.

Referring to a summary of the Oct. 20 meeting sent to employees of ERR the daily writes that Allikmaa took a stand concerning the topic of the legalization of cannabis, saying that ERR should rule out supporting the legalization. «I call on you to ignore the supporters of cannabis! Cannabis is illegal in Estonia and based on the values of ERR we shouldn't help those who say that it is reasonable to damage one's health and it should be advanced by softening laws,» Allikmaa said.

Tarmu Tammerk, journalistic ethics adviser at ERR, said at the meeting that the legalization of cannabis is a new topic from the viewpoint of the balance of journalism, and both interest groups are monitoring very closely how presenters cover the topic. He added that one has to be very careful when covering the topic and agreed with Allikmaa that supporters of cannabis have to be boycotted.

Member of the supervisory board of ERR and member of the Social Democratic Party (SDE), Mihkel Raud, told BNS on Wednesday that it has to be possible to discuss all topics, including the legalization of cannabis, at ERR in a calm and balanced manner. According to Raud he was astonished by Allikmaa's words and said that the issue has to be discussed at the next meeting of the supervisory board.

The non-parliamentary Green Party made a statement on Wednesday, saying that Allikmaa should resign.