Thousands came out on Saturday in Tel Aviv for protests against marijuana laws, and the enforcement of those laws, against recreational marijuana users. Several members of Israel’s Knesset legislative leadership were present, uniting under the banner of “Demanding Cannabis at Rabin Square – Common Sense and Manners”.
The people took the streets and marched from the Tel Aviv Museum and commenced in a gathering at Tel Aviv Square, with performances and speeches given by many organizers and beloved artists.
Politician MK Tamar Zandberg, who was in attendance, clarifies her position: “I did not come here to tell you that there is no reason cannabis should be criminalized, nor to tell you that cannabis is less harmful than cigarettes, I came to tell you what will happen from now on.”
Zandberg’s stance is that it is inevitable that marijuana will be legalized for its medical benefits that are already established, next will be the decriminalizing of the drug completely, including recreational usage. The time has come for the Knesset to take a vote on it.
The uniting of all sects and groups shows that the urgency to legalize marijuana is a national topic that must advance and reflect the views of the people, all parties have this responsibility.
The various members of the Knesset understand that this is not a partisan issue or a talking-point that only particular parties are pandering to, this is a real issue that affects all sides of the isle and should be addressed now. Israelis who are being turned into criminals for using a drug with documented medical benefits is a practice that must stop.
Israel is up there with the U.S. in-terms of per capita usage of medical marijuana with an estimated 21,000 residents holding medical marijuana licenses. Israel’s Green Leaf Party did make an attempt to get into the Knesset, but never achieved the votes required to enter. But the message their campaign platform sent on the decriminalization of marijuana was heard loud and clear, gaining major support from the IDF, and therefor indicating major Israeli youth support.