A pair of activists are facing criminal charges after allegedly being behind a 420 stunt that saw pro-cannabis messages projected onto the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Cannabis entrepreneur William “Willy Biggs” Stolk and content creator Alec Zammitt were arrested on April 20 in a room at the Park Hyatt hotel, which has direct views of the iconic landmarks.
It’s alleged they used high-powered laser beams to project the words “who are we hurting” and “420”, and a cannabis leaf onto the Opera House sails and one the bridge’s pylons.
A video of the incident has nearly 15,000 views on YouTube.
The duo have entered not guilty pleas to charges including distributing an advertisement on Opera House property.
Stolk told The Daily Telegraph they will defend the charges at a court hearing in December on the basis that what they did “was not advertising”.
“We’re charged with projecting an image onto the Opera House for commercial gain – there was nothing commercially to be gained out of the protest,” he said.
“No damage was done, we turned it off when [the police] told us to. There should be no ramifications for us other than a move-on direction or a fine. But garnering a criminal charge for something that left no permanent mark on the building is ludicrous.
“They’re trying to make an example of us to deter people from doing it again.”
Zammit told Cannabiz it was time for Australia to reform its cannabis laws for the benefit of patients.
He said: “Cannabis has been legal in Australia for years now. It is time to end evidence-free roadside drug testing and stop uniquely targeting this medicine through drug-driving legislation. Additionally, we need to implement processes to grow our own to aid lower income patients.”
“Tasmania has a medical cannabis driving defence, and the ACT allows people to grow their own in limited quantities. We need similar legislation nationwide.”