Last year we met Outlaw, the balaclava-clad cannabis activist who was hailed a local hero after he started driving around his native Manchester, handing out free weed, toilet roll and hand sanitiser to those who needed it during the first few months of the coronavirus lockdown.
On 4/20 of last year, Outlaw sent out one-gram packs of weed to 420 of his followers; this year, he received 28,000 requests for free weed, and says he’s fulfilled 2,800 of them. He also says he’s been working to address the UK’s weed laws, working with a team of “barristers and solicitors, plus advisers” to create a document outlining the “legal argument” for the decriminalisation of cannabis.
That document is yet to be published, but I thought it would be worth catching up to see how the UK’s “Robin Hood of Weed” will be celebrating cannabis Christmas this year.
VICE: Hello, mate.
Outlaw: Yes, mate. How’s it going?
Not bad, thanks. But I nearly got caught with weed yesterday. I was on a train.
There were three British Transport Police walking down the aisle checking if people had masks on, and I had two joints in my sock.
Rolled up or in a bag?
In a bag. They kept walking up and down, saying, “It’s near here,” to each other. Then they said to me, “Can you smell cannabis?” I said “no” and kept working on my laptop. I quickly got off at the next stop.
What would you have said if they wanted to search you?
I don’t consent.
Yeah. And remember [the plant] cannabis isn’t actually illegal, it’s the [THC] cannabinoids [the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis]. It could have just been hemp or CBD weed with no THC.
What are you up to for 4/20 this year?
I've been sending out my packs again – done nearly 3,000. It was about 2,800-ish. They’ll be landing on 4/20 for most people. We had 28,000 requests this time. It’s a pretty big one, all over the world.
How long does it take you to make all the packs?
About three days, four hours a day. The random generator selects the people [from the list of applicants], then I print off the labels, put them on the envelopes. The main cost is the envelopes and the postage. On [4/20], we’ll have the “Over Grow the Government” packs on the website; you just pay for the postage and it’ll be a sticker pack and a few things, but some guerrilla seeds as well. Loads of people have donated loads and loads of fucking seeds; I’ve probably got about a million seeds. I’m not counting them, obviously.
So, I’m going to bag them all up, people can pay me for the postage, and I’ll send them out with instructions explaining that I don’t want people to plant them in the local police station garden or council flowerpots, and see what comes back.
It’s good that you definitely don’t want that to happen.
Yeah, not at all. If it does happen, send me the footage and I’ll put it on my website and report it immediately.
Since we last spoke you’ve branched out into helping people with legal issues with cannabis. How many people have you helped?
Me and my solicitor, probably five or six. We’ve got the OUTLAW Prosecution Service coming, too – we’re setting up a thing where you can quickly upload a video of unlawful police. If they’ve acted unlawfully, one of our solicitors will take it on, no win no fee. Even if they lose, they’ll pay the legal fees from the other side, so there’s literally no cost to the other person. A guy got £17,000 compensation.
What strain have you been smoking?
I’ve been smoking my Girl Scout Cookies; we get a genetic cross done in Amsterdam, and it’s quite nice. That’s what everyone is getting in their packs.
What’s your 4/20 message?
Overgrow the government. We are accepting nothing, disputing everything. It’s only a plant, you know. Get some seed souvenirs in, and… don’t plant them at police stations and council flowerpots.