" 'It looks ridiculous. It's as if they're saying hello, I'm a criminal, please lock me up' "
At least two online "coffee shops" have begun operating in recent months, offering what they say is top-grade cannabis at about R125 a gram, plus delivery.
Both sites say marijuana is safe and healthy and should be legal.
"The law on cannabis is wrong," said Chris Bure, one of the brothers who launched Gauteng-based Four Brothers in September 2010.
"The fact that it is illegal is harming so many people. Allowed to freely grow and trade, the benefits of this plant would be felt worldwide, and the South African economy would boom."
Four Brothers, which delivers its goods via a courier service, asks customers to accept a disclaimer stating: "I am purchasing cannabis for personal use and have no criminal intentions whatsoever and understand that the government's illegal, unjustified prohibition is treason."
It also says: "It's not the law that makes something illegal, it's your mind. If you believe cannabis is illegal ... you are not allowed to purchase any cannabis off this web page. Your mind makes you guilty and we do not wish to participate in any criminal activities."
Strains available include Hammer, named for its impact on the smoker; The Builder, "a subtle head stone"; Aurora, "a very nice mental high"; and African sativa, "a nice energetic mind high".
One regular customer, Jonathan Crosthwaite, 36, described the website as "a real blessing" because it was much safer than buying on the street. "It (cannabis) helps me and it's good for me, and the only person that would stop me from that would ... be trying to oppress me," he said.
"I totally disagree with the law. I'm not scared to go to jail if I have to."
Crosthwaite said he had been a regular smoker for 16 years, during which time he had earned Springbok colours in the martial art jiu-jitsu.
"I think Four Brothers are doing a good thing. It is expensive, but you get what you pay for. At least these guys are not taking advantage of us."
He said smoking dagga "makes me feel great, it makes me feel enthusiastic, motivated. The compassionate and merciful thing is to legalise it."
One of the brothers behind the site, Ruan Wentzel, said they had written to President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) arguing that cannabis should be legal, but had received no substantive response.
"We took the matter into our own hands," Wentzel said.
"The goal became clear to do something that the government does not want anyone to do, and that is to sell/grow cannabis, and inform others of the good that cannabis can really do."
The website, which describes itself as "the cannabis embassy of South Africa", instructs visitors: "This information and web page is designed and intended for use by humans of a mature mind. If you are an adult with an immature mind, please exit the page and return once you are mature enough to handle the truth."
The site says it encourages "active resistance against unjustifiable and unreasonable laws, and rebellion against tyranny and oppression to protect your human rights".
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said the unit had not been aware of the websites before being asked about them by the Sunday Times.
He said there were no immediate plans to investigate, but added: "It looks ridiculous that someone is openly doing something illegal. It's as if they're saying 'Hello, I'm a criminal, please lock me up.' "
NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said police would need to act before any decision was made to prosecute.
"From a legal point of view this is clearly a criminal offence," he said.
The Four Brothers website requires customers to provide proof that they are 18 or older.
In an e-mail to the Sunday Times, they said: "Although we believe there shouldn't be an age limit, as this plant could help so many kids, we are keeping to an 18 age limit as law dictates that this is when you are capable of making your own decisions."
* Following inquiries from the Sunday Times about dagga sales this week, one of the sites disabled its "coffee shop" page. - Additional reporting Biénne Huisman
Think this is pretty out there to be honest. SA is quite relaxed but at the same time I feel the police are going to nail these guys to the wall and trust me, you DO NOT want to do jail time in South Africa ( See Ross Kemp when he goes to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town)