Hundreds of small bags of marijuana fell from a drone flying over the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon, prompting passersby and others tipped off to the planned drop to scurry into roadways as they collected the illicit cargo from the ground.
The pot, packaged in small plastic bags, was dropped by a group known as the Green Drones, an illicit delivery service that operates via the encrypted app Telegram. The group also advocates for the legalization of cannabis in Israel, where currently only the medicinal use of cannabis is permitted under some circumstances.
The Green Drones, which uses the phrase “free love” as its slogan, hinted at the impending mass delivery from the sky in a message posted on the app before the drop.
“It’s time my dear brothers. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the green drone, handing out free cannabis from the sky,” the group wrote on Telegram. “Enjoy my beloved brothers, this is your pilot brother, making sure we all get some free love.”
Following the announcement, a quad-rotor drone aircraft flew over Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and dropped hundreds of bags of pot from the sky. The activity attracted dozens of confused people, many of whom rushed to pick up as many bags as they could, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.
As they fell, many of the bags were scattered by the wind, landing on the roadway at nearby Ibn Gabirol Street, where several people reportedly rushed into traffic to gather the bags of weed. Dozens of bags also landed on a neighborhood children’s playground, where authorities swooped in to seize them and prevent minors from picking up the pot.
More Dank Drops To Come?
The message from the Green Drones released before the pot drop also noted that Thursday’s free delivery would only be the first in a series of events to be staged across Israel.
“We’re launching the ‘rain of cannabis’ project, that will include a weekly delivery to different parts of the country of 1 kilo of cannabis divided into free 2 gram bags,” the message stated.
The group noted that the “rain of cannabis” project was inspired by lockdowns that could be mandated in Israel because of the continuing worldwide novel coronavirus pandemic. The Green Drones wrote that the situation “requires thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways of getting cannabis to consumers.”
However, time will tell whether or not those future drops will materialize. Shortly after Thursday’s payload was delivered, police arrested two men near the scene. An investigation has been launched and the two suspects have been charged with drug trafficking. A statement from police said that the two men had been linked to the bags of weed dropped by the drone.
“The distribution of a suspected narcotic substance is considered as trafficking a dangerous drug in all respects and the arrested suspects will be investigated accordingly,” a police spokesperson said.
Although Israel is a leading center of research into the medicinal use of cannabis, the practice is tightly controlled and recreational use is still illegal. In June, Israeli lawmakers advanced two cannabis legalization bills, although final passage of the measures, if it comes, is still at least months away.