August 15 is the day Lithuanians traditionally celebrate a bountiful harvest. The national holiday is known as “Žolinė” – literally, “Grass Day“. A group of Vilnius street artists decided it would be the perfect day to use their talents to advocate for cannabis legalization. Their mural was unveiled in the self-proclaimed autonomous district of artists and anarchists known as Užupis to the applause of hundreds of local residents. The mural reinterprets the famous French painting “Liberty Leading the People”, showing people following Liberty in a fight for the right to cannabis.
Part of the wall includes key facts about cannabis legalization and space for the signatures of those who support it. Hundreds of signatures were placed there the day the mural was unveiled.
The unveiling was followed by a performance in the central square of Užupis that involved putting a smoke granade into the horn of the famous Užupis Angel – one of the main symbols of the city – making it appear to be smoking.
The idea was to at least symbolically legalize cannabis in the free-spirited autonomous district of the Lithuanian capital and to spark a discussion about the benefits of cannabis legalization. Lithuanians caught in possession of cannabis currently face penalties that may include up to 2 years’ imprisonment.
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