Amani Ibrahimi speaks to the man behind the 'Dispenseroo' adds popping up on the London Underground for ITV News Here's the Story
Drug dealers behind illegal cannabis adverts placed around London Tubes and billboards say the rules around the class B drug in the UK are "archaic and stupid".
Dispenseroo, which was set up in August, is responsible for the cannabis adverts seen across public transport in the city. The posters which were put up illegally and without anyone's permission, include a discount code, and are being used as a marketing technique to attract customers to their website.
To find out more about how this company is selling drugs so openly, I reached out to the man behind the site, who wanted to be known as ’S’.
We contacted him through the Dispenseroo website and agreed to meet via Zoom.
Once the video call started, S appeared with a mask and sunglasses covering his face, to keep his identity hidden.
"The reason I came up with Dispenseroo is because buying weed is quite a hard and convoluted process. There's a lot of fake dealers that scam people, a lot of robberies that happen, a lot of street crime, so when I was able to get good weed and I was thinking ‘cool, why shouldn't I be able to share this?’ He told me.
"It's as simple as just going and sticking up a poster."
However, while it seems like they’re getting away with it, Transport for London say what they’re doing is flyposting - which is an illegal activity in itself.
In a statement provided to ITV News, TfL said: "These are not authorised by TfL or our advertising partner Global. It is flyposting, which we take extremely seriously. We have already instructed our contractors to remove any of these posters found on our network."
Dispenseroo says it uses third parties to help put up the adverts.
'S', who says he doesn’t live in the UK, has been openly running his website which sells different forms of the Class B drug.
"We're trying to demonstrate that marijuana laws in the EU and cannabis laws in the UK are archaic and we're trying to show the demand from the people’s side of how many people want clean, safe cannabis," he says.
The UK has strict laws on those who produce or supply cannabis, which can land you in jail for up to 14 years or an unlimited fine or both, while possession of the drug can get you up to five years in prison or an unlimited fined or both.
In an attempt to understand how Dispenseroo is still able to continue advertising their illegal website, we reached out to the Metropolitan Police who then suggested we contact the National Police Chiefs' Council.
The NPCC then passed us onto the British Transport Police, who said they hadn’t "received any reports of this nature."
We then contacted the National Crime Agency, who passed us back to the Met and so it’s not exactly clear who’s investigating the website.
When I asked 'S' about details on their profits, he refused to give me any figures.
"If any good advertising campaign is done properly, sales would increase, right? That's the whole point of advertising. Apart from that, I'm not going to comment on the figures necessarily as stated before."
He also didn’t want to reveal any of their future plans especially in terms of advertising but alluded that they plan on expanding their business.