There are growing calls in the United Kingdom to legalize recreational marijuana, with parliamentary officials even suggesting that it could be done in the next five years. But some people apparently aren’t willing to wait that long.
A pair of individuals, both clad in black masks, were filmed in Manchester this month doling out free cannabis to passersby. The video shows the two in Piccadilly Gardens, one of the city’s major green spaces, unfurling a sign that makes it abundantly clear what they set out to do: “FREE BUD ‘SOUVENIRS.’” The duration of the footage plays out as you would expect, with the masked individuals — donning black attire from head to toe — pulling out one marijuana bud after another to an ever-swelling group of park-goers.
The two individuals reportedly passed out £800 (about $980) worth of free marijuana. Video of the stunt surfaced online Monday, but according to Lad Bible, it was shot on July 14. “One of the two pot peddlers, however, was intercepted by police and arrested as they headed home,” Metro reported. The other individual involved, identified only as “Outlaw,” told Metro that he successfully evaded authorities.
“‘You can’t arrest a character with a made up name and no face. Outlaw’s lawyers are right on top of the game,” the anonymous individual said, adding that the free pot-giveaway was “literally just the start.”
“We question UK laws and legislation and like to test the authority,” Outlaw told Metro. “Until somebody can convince us that there’s a legitimate reason for cannabis to be illegal, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and keep pushing the barrier, regardless of the law.”
There are some lawmakers in Britain who share that view. A group of members of parliament recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Canada to Great Britain with a bullish outlook for the legalization movement in Britain, where marijuana is still classified as a “Class B” drug, making possession, cultivation, and distribution illegal. Two MPs who participated in the trip to Canada, David Lammy of the Labour party and the Lib Dem Norman Lamb, both predicted that marijuana would be available to purchase legally in the UK in the next five years. Medical cannabis was made legal in Great Britain last year, but its rollout has been marred by restrictions that have made the treatment unattainable for many would-be patients.
Lammy, a legalization advocate, laid out what his vision for a legitimate marijuana market in Britain.
“I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs,” Lammy said, as quoted by Metro. “‘I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled, and properly organised in this country.”