Marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2018, but not all customers are happy: much of the distribution is controlled by the government, the quality of the drug is often said to be low, and the price high.
All this means that many marijuana users in Canada continue to get their supply from other markets and through other channels – including from online sources.
With this in mind it’s easy to understand why Canadian law enforcement might go after and geoblock a Reddit community that is, in its own words, dedicated to the discussion of mail order marijuana (MOM). Why Reddit would comply with such a request coming from the police, though – that’s an entirely different matter.
A post published on Tuesday on the subreddit, r/CanadianMOMs, showed a screenshot of a Reddit page that said the community’s content had been restricted due to a legal request “in your country.”
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User u/sinnahman added that the only way to access the page was by using a VPN service to bypass the geoblock.
However, the block doesn’t appear universal for all users in Canada, as some commenters said they were able to view the post and the thread, but not the subreddit’s front page. Others said the whole subreddit was accessible as before via the Reddit app, and wondered if this was implemented in a way that perhaps only involves major ISPs.
The OP then edited the post to say that Reddit is using “a geo-IP database” and that if a Canadian user’s IP is “properly registered” in that country – they will be blocked. However, Reddit’s implementation of the block seems lacking, as it allows browsing and posting in threads, with only the subreddit’s base page being made off-limit.
Then, there’s the question of why Reddit is doing this, i.e., allowing a government, as one commenter put it, to censor parts of its website.