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Byron Shire
June 16, 2021

Local author’s cannabis cookbook censored by Facebook, eBay

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Hans Lovejoy

A local author has had her book censored by US tech behemoths Facebook and eBay after she tried to list her Cannabis Cookbook for sale on their respective websites.

First published in 1998, the 48-page Australian Cannabis Cookbook describes how to make your own marijuana recipes ‘for fun and relaxation, and how to prepare cannabis-based folk remedies for therapeutic use’.

The front cover of the cannabis cookbook. Image supplied

It has been reprinted in a joint venture with the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, and the book outlines the history of cannabis and how it came to be outlawed, ‘as well as noting the current legalities around medicinal cannabis’. 

It also includes a contribution from the late, renowned journalist, Mungo MacCallum.

Author Eve Sinton told The Echo after trying to list her Cannabis Cookbook on Facebook Shopfront, ‘They cancelled it without telling me why, but I expect the word “Cannabis” triggered them’.

And after trying to list the book on eBay, she says the request was cancelled after five minutes, with her account then permanently suspended. 

eBay’s response was that they believe the activity is a ‘risk to our community’. 

The decision, says eBay customer help, is ‘final and cannot be appealed’.

Retired magistrate David Heilpern told The Echo, ‘It is hard to take such absurdity seriously – a cookbook!’ 

‘[It’s] commercial censorship gone mad. Cannabis is legal by prescription, now even in leaf, head and flower form, yet you cannot advertise a book to help consume it creatively. Next they’ll ban the little red school book… No, that was in the 1960s’.

Ms Sinton says, ‘The right wing rages about cancel culture, but as soon as someone being progressive about drug law reform and our right to use an ancient plant for our personal health benefit puts their head above the parapet, you get shot down. I had the cookbook listed on eBay for years in the early 2000s, no problem. So why cancel me now?’

‘The censorship also highlights how unaccountable corporations, that operate on budgets larger than many nation states, can suppress health information which has clear and proven benefits to societies’. 

In February, Facebook removed all news content from Australian users after talks broke down with the government over its media bargaining laws. The service was reinstated a week later.

The book is available at www.shop.hempembassy.net, The Echo office in Mullum and the Main Arm Store.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Society has been sleepwalking into the censorship trap for some time now, and it’s sad to see short-sighted progressives jump on the censorship and cancel culture bandwagons. As soon as censorship exceeds the bounds of what is arguably necessary (tackling hate speech and advocacy of violence), it will quickly be turned on individuals and groups who are challenging governments and corporate vested interests. The Australian government and probably some others are now providing Facebook with lists of content to take down. Facebook censorship has reached a point where it is censoring scientifically based mainstream media items about the dangers of VOCs in aerosols, classifying such material as spam. Its end goal appears to be a debate so sanitised, and in such conformity with government-led viewpoints that in the future you might as well read LNP media releases, and use Facebook for cat videos and photos of meals.

  2. “Ms Sinton says, ‘The right wing rages about cancel culture, but as soon as someone being progressive about drug law reform and our right to use an ancient plant for our personal health benefit puts their head above the parapet, you get shot down. I had the cookbook listed on eBay for years in the early 2000s, no problem. So why cancel me now?’” Wut lol.. The so-called “right wing” isn’t responsible for Facebook or eBay. In fact, Facebook is more aligned to the left wing. I don’t know about eBay, since I’ve never used it.

  3. I’ve discontinued use of algorithm based platforms which control who sees what. If you use Ebay to buy anything more than outdated phone covers from Asia then u deserve the criticism. Shop local or there won’t be a local.

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