A video showing members of the British pop band One Direction allegedly smoking cannabis has prompted a backlash from parents and a drugs charity.
In the footage, obtained by MailOnline, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik – two of the band members – are apparently shown smoking what they describe as “Mary Jane” – slang for marijuana.
The story has been widely reported across many media outlets, including the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail.
One Direction, who became famous in 2010 through ITV’s X Factor, are hugely popular with young fans and have 19 million followers on Twitter.
In the video Tomlinson and Malik appear to be sharing a joint while reportedly travelling in Peru at the end of last month.
Tomlinson filmed the whole incident and at one point shows a policeman outside, and thinks aloud on behalf of the officer: “‘I’m sure I can smell an illegal substance in there.’
“And he’s hit the nail on the head”.
The band are currently on a UK tour and are set to begin their American tour in August.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the band said: “The matter is now in the hands of our lawyers”.
Journalist and father Richard Price said he was glad he had stopped his seven-year-old daughter going to see One Direction.
Price said: “Do they care so little about the impressionable kids who will now turn to their parents to ask why Zayn was smoking something called ‘Mary J’? It seems they don’t care at all.”
Other parents, who were speaking outside the stars’ concert in Sunderland this week, also criticised the pair.
Jackie Moran said: “As a mother, you expect them to be better role models and that is not the image you would want them to portray.”
Another said: “If my daughter asks about this, I would tell her that they have been idiots. They have been very silly, when you are in their position, you have to be extra squeaky clean.”
Mentor, an alcohol and drug protection charity said: “Zayn and Louis have a great opportunity to be a good role model for young people but they blow it here.
“We hope their young fans are not swayed by their example”.
In Peru, having small amounts of cannabis for personal use is not illegal.