The famous mural has been restored in Lithuania. This time, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump are sharing a joint on the wall of a burger restaurant in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.
The original image, painted by the local artist Mindaugas Bonanu past spring, depicted a kiss between the two leaders on the outside wall of the American fast food restaurant Keule Ruke. After a few weeks, the graffiti was vandalized with white paint.
The artwork was a nod to the famous photograph from 1979, which portrayed the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing his communist ally Erich Honecker and was later painted on the Berlin Wall.
“We think that now is the right moment to stop this war on cannabis, and we are calling for a sensible, peaceful discussion,” the restaurant owner Dominykas Ceckauskas stated on his Facebook page. The new artwork takes on the pro-legalization topic and symbolizes the pro-cannabis stance of the artist. As Bonanu and Ceckauskas said, they used Trump as a symbol of the United States, because the legalization movement is booming there, and it does not show any signs of slowing down in the near future.
Legal marijuana is currently the fastest-growing industry in the country. Among all 25 states that have legalized the use of marijuana in some form, California and Colorado seem to be the most progressive in this sense: Silicon Valley entrepreneurs continue to create marijuana start-ups that are looking to get a piece of the billion-dollar pie, at the same time contributing significantly to the state budget by paying high taxes. Green rush is considered an exclusively American phenomenon, although there are certain places around the world, particularly in Europe, known for marijuana tourism, for example, Netherlands and Spain. However, more European countries are calling to start the movement toward legalization.
According to Vilnius Mayor and the leader of the Lithuanian Liberal party, Remigujus Simasius, who supported the idea of legalization, Vilnius was the first city to fight for independence against the Soviet Union. It is a place that has always had a long tradition of liberty and freedom. People there feel free to criticize officials without fear of reprisal. And now, they think that it is the time to legalize marijuana in the country.
The European Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction estimated that almost six percent of Lithuanian adults had been using marijuana over the last year, and nearly twelve percent have used the drug at least once in their life.
Currently, marijuana is illegal in the country in any form. Possession of up to five grams of the substance is a crime punishable by a fine, detention of 10 to 45 days or a “restriction of freedom” for two years. Possessing larger amounts may lead to a two-year prison sentence.