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Thanks, Internet: Estonian Town Gets Cannabis Leaf as Its Emblem

May 17, 2018

This much ought to be clear by now: If you ask the internet to settle anything, you do so at your own peril.

A municipality in southeastern Estonia recently asked internet users what its symbol should be. Their answer: the cannabis leaf.

Undeterred, the town, Kanepi, adopted the leaf as its emblem on Wednesday. Kaido Koiv, chairman of the town council, defended the decision as a “very democratic” process, according to Reuters, even though the number of online voters in favor of it — about 12,000 — was more than double the municipality’s population of 5,000.

The choice of the marijuana plant is not entirely incongruous: Kanep means cannabis in Estonian, and the leaf, according to local legend, has been used as a symbol of the area for at least 150 years, referring to the hemp traditionally grown and made into cloth, oil and rope there.