Berlin (AFP) - A German Green party politician who poured a bucket of ice water over his head for charity has caused an online stir by slipping in a quiet call to legalise marijuana.
Party co-leader Cem Ozdemir, 48, joined thousands worldwide when he doused himself in freezing water for an online video clip to raise awareness of the neurodegenerative Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS.
But unlike other public figures, Ozdemir performed the stunt standing next to a potted cannabis plant, which was soaked with almost as much water as he was, on a Berlin rooftop balcony.
"It wasn't standing there by accident," Ozdemir later admitted, saying he had wanted to add "a gentle political statement" in his contribution to the #IceBucketChallenge social media sensation.
"Yes, it's a hemp plant," he told mass-circulation daily Bild on Thursday, confirming what countless Internet commentators had already spotted, and often applauded, in their postings.
"We Greens are friends of liberty," Ozdemir told Bild. "Whether someone can consume cannabis and take the associated risks should be decided by the citizens themselves in a free society."
The online reaction was mixed, with some suspecting it was an oversight and others wondering whether Ozdemir would be punished for the apparent illegal possession of a hemp plant.
Others greeted the pro-legalisation statement, like Tweeter @passagier404, who said "Ozdemir proves that he doesn't just have balls but also nice marijuana".
One writer asked if there were any balconies in inner-city Berlin that did not have cannabis plants, while another simply quipped about Ozdemir's environmentalist party that "they don't call 'em Greens for nothin".