Israeli Pot Smokers Say They Are Persecuted, Demand Investigation

“Investigate the disproportionate investment of resources in going after marijuana consumers,” asked dozens of Israelis of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Sunday in a letter.

The letter, which bore dozens of signatures, starts off with a personal appeal. “I am 32-years-old, a combat officer in reserves, a manager on a government network, hold a Bachelors Degree with honors from Hebrew University. In short, I am a normative person and a contributing and tax-paying citizen. Unfortunately, the taxes I pay are used to persecute me and make me into a criminal without me having harmed anyone.”

The letter noted that “tens of hundreds of thousands of entirely normative people smoke marijuana” and that the police “are doing everything in their capacity to persecute them.”

The letter’s authors claimed that the persecution has intensified in recent weeks, with the police searching private homes.

Fifty-six citizens signed the letter, complaining of body searches on passersby. They also noted that a man was recently apprehended for smoking a joint by undercover policemen during his beach wedding. “Where were these policemen when Arik Karp was murdered on the beach?” wondered the letter’s signatories, claiming that the war against them is coming at the expense of the war on gruesome crimes.

The letter also made note of marijuana’s medical benefits, and gave the lenient enforcement policy towards marijuana smokers in Europe, Canada, and the US.

Omer, one of the letter’s authors, explained in a conversation with Ynet, “A stigma has been created around marijuana consumers – druggies. I contribute to society and have never harmed anyone, but it’s enough for me to smoke a joint and be caught, and I immediately have a criminal record.”

The letter also claimed that the said persecution pushes marijuana smokers into the hands of drug dealers, where they are exposed to harder drugs.

The letter emphasized that it does not seek to change the laws against smoking marijuana, but rather to point out the waste of resources in enforcing it.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’ office responded, “The state comptroller received the letter and will examine it.”

– Article from Ynetnews on August 15, 2010.

Comments

18 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    You can dream of your rusty car to Mars but you aren’t getting it!

  2. Anonymous on

    There was a clip where Arnold accepted and encouraged legalization during an interview, not sure which one but not too long ago.

  3. Anonymous on

    You don’t represent society, only your myopic views.

  4. Anonymous on

    Apparently “smiling Jack” does not read, or has not learned anything new in a few years, several of our former presidents and our current president, self admittedly were pot heads at some point in their lives, yet they managed to out perform individuals like yourself, you just have a very high opinion of your-self, your comments only show how ignorant you are.
    the article is about the persecution of medical cannabis users in Israel, your comments have nothing to do with the article, you missed the topic completely, so much for staying on topic and debating properly.
    Hippies and pot heads could turn this planet into a lush garden, and hemp could not only provide the fiber and seeds to produce food, clothes, medicine, etc.
    in other words we would not need big government to run our lives, this is why cannabis is illegal.

  5. Anonymous on

    Relax chump. You dont live there anyways, no one there is hurting you. Why are you in such misery everyday? Just mind your own business and find peace for yourself.

  6. Anonymous on

    If you dont like the millions of people who use marijuana , then mind your own business. Your misery is only searching for company here.

  7. Young hippie on

    So, tell me then, jack, what is life about? Going around to web sites and making comments while allowing auful things to happen to good people. People who acutaully respect nature and dont think some huge sky god put this planet and everything in it for them to destroy while they bicker amongst each other. A lot more progressive than getting off a hard days work and having a good smoke of weed or hash wich is proven to be healthier to your body than tabacco or alcohol. Are the stoners really that bad? They just want to be left alone but cant, they must speak out because they want it legal because their FUCKING TIRED OF SUPPORTING GANGS WICH THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS TO PROFIT!!
    You are nothing more than a nazi housewife jack.

  8. Smilin' Jack on

    peace is the hippie’s only option- if it got down to a battle between stoners and society, the hippies would lose. Society would see that hippies want their pot more than they are afraid of jail so they’d just open fire on the irrational violent stoners and that would be that. Any wisdom the stoners have they better start showing it because so far they are for the most part idiots who can’t debate properly or stay on topic. The stoners will not be invited to travel to a new planet- the stoners get this rusty used car of a planet and all they will end up with is acres of weed that won’t heal the nations, it will just add more smoke in the air and nobody will grow food or make clothes or housing nor deliver anything to stoner city because nobody will pay, even the black market will abandon them if they won;t pay, So stoner world will collapse into the shit because all they can do is consume, they cannot will not produce anything of value except more pot. Too much pot, Life is not just about getting stoned. But stoners are too stoned to know that,, they just age and rage then fall off the stage

  9. Young hippie on

    Perhaps then it is time we change are tatics, jack, but perhaps not. Peace would be the best solution but they wont allow that. The only other way I can think is voinlence and there aint a pothead who would want that and even if we tried it would be a brutal and tragic reality. Somtimes I think it would be easier just to give up but that would be cowardly and foolish. All that we can do is do what we always do, fight ignorant fools with wisdom, but they wont listen and they will just move on to the next planet and kill its natural balance as well. Thus goes on the humanoid parasite that is capable of great things but will never achieve them because of personal greed.

  10. Buzz Killjoy on

    Here is a sampling C&P from Ha’aretz(sp?), the … indicates where judicious editing for brevity’s sake has taken place. There still seems to be a stigma attached, as well as a concerted effort to marginalize “non-medical” users.16.6

    “Medical marijuana transforms into big business in Israel

    …the quiet but fascinating revolution
    that Israeli society has undergone over the last decade. In 1999, the Health Ministry legalized the use of Cannabis, the plant from which marijuana and hashish are derived, for use by patients suffering from serious symptoms such as pain, nausea and loss of appetite.

    As the cultivation of the Cannabis plant became legal, the number of patients prescribed medicinal marijuana grew from two in 2000 to more than 700 today. The number is expected to reach 1,200 within three months. Cannabis growing is on the verge of becoming an economic goldmine and entrepreneurs seeking to tap its potential are eyeing the endeavor. The consumption of cannabis products, which was completely forbidden up until ten years ago, is now becoming regulated and may eventually gain the status of any other drug supplied to the general public.

    “I issue 40 new prescriptions every month, with an average prescription calling for 100 grams per patient per month,” boasts Dr. Yehuda Baruch, the head of the psychiatric hospital “Abarbanel” in Bat Yam. Baruch is also the Health Ministry’s point man for medicinal marijuana prescriptions.

    The aforementioned revolution has not yet been completed, and the use of medicinal marijuana is currently in a sort of twilight zone. It is considered a legitimate medical treatment, under the supervision of the Health Ministry, but is viewed as a “stepson” of sorts. Baruch, the sole provider of prescriptions, is only employed by the ministry part time, and many patients find themselves waiting for him to clear time from his busy Abarbanel schedule to renew their prescriptions.

    “Our battle is against an institution mired in prejudice,” she said. “The stigma is that patients who smoke are messed up, or high, but that is not the way we are. The Cannabis, for me, comes in place of other drugs, and it allows me to function. Don’t compare me to a healthy person who smokes.” She added that she has often encountered doctors and nurses at conferences where she’d lectured who responded with giggles and asked to take her picture next to the plant. …

    When Cannabis was approved for medicinal purposes in 1999, it was originally intended for terminal cancer and AIDS patients. Today it is being used in earlier stages of illness and for a wider array of diseases, including Parkinson’s, Tourette Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain and shell shock. The medical establishment is also increasingly recognizing Cannabis’ effectiveness in treating illness.

    At the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplantation department, patients including children and babies are treated using drops of oil derived from Cannabis. “It has no side effects and is largely effective in treating patients,” said department chief, Professor Reuven Or. “I would say it is effective in 80 percent of patients, which is a lot.”

    Professor Or continued, “It stimulates the appetite and minimizes nausea and vomiting, which is of great importance in Oncology. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in cases of infection or inflammation caused by radiation. Along with this, Cannabis eases the coping process for patients – it improves their morale and lowers depression, and these are important parameters for patients battling disease.”

    Half of the patients being treated with Cannabis are Oncology patients, while about a quarter suffer from chronic pain.

    Ten years ago, Benny’s father told her about medicinal Cannabis, and three years ago she was introduced to “Tikkun Olam.” Today she is one of the patients authorized by the Health Ministry to use medical marijuana. Benny also lectures on the subject, tries to persuade more doctors to lose their preconceived notions about the drug and increase the number of users.

    “I live with interminable pain that reaches level eight to nine (ten is considered the highest pain level),” said Benny.

    “Smoking Cannabis allows me to talk to you and sound coherent even if I haven’t slept all night,” she continued. “Cannabis is a multipurpose drug that should be included in the public health basket. Its use significantly decreases the use of other drugs, which is cost-effective for the state. Cannabis improves all patients’ functioning, and we are not just talking about relief from symptoms but also about a certain form of therapy.”

    Several weeks ago, Benny established an organization to advance the use of medicinal Cannabis. “I see this as my mission,” she said.”

  11. Smilin' Jack on

    Not only can Californians regulate and tax marijuana, we should.

    We just should thats wonderfully glib.
    Honey, this is social policy for the future
    not a bumper sticker contest

    That’s all fine and dandy til the feds come in and smack your little pink butt because drugs are federal perogative and no state can just fucking help themselves
    anymore than the feds can step in and call a few plays in a state ballgame, The minute California “legal” pot drifts across state lines, that’s a federal offense the Feds will block your highways and shake every vehicle down entering or leaving California and Arnold will shrug, because he is not in favor of legal pot.

    Yopu might barely win a paper fight, but in the battle on the ground, you will get squished and get pushed back underground as if this was 1969. Hippies will run like kittens at the first door slam
    Just sayin’

  12. Unfazed on

    A Federal-State Law Inconsistency Shouldn’t Stop Californians from Legalizing Marijuana
    By Hanna Liebman Dershowitz, The Los Angeles Times – Thursday, July 29 2010

    No law is infallible. As it has done in the past, California can show leadership in driving needed reforms by passing Proposition 19.
    The law is the law. If we unquestioningly accepted that maxim, imagine where we would be today. Jim Crow would be alive and well, rivers and skies would be polluted, and women wouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Yet such is the mindset of many of those who criticize Proposition 19, the marijuana regulation and taxation initiative on the November ballot. In his July 18 Times Op-Ed article, UCLA public policy professor Mark A.R. Kleiman declares that state legalization “can’t be done.” He points out, correctly, that if the initiative is successful, the federal marijuana prohibition laws will remain in place. What he assumes, incorrectly, is that federal agents will swarm into California, busting farmers and arresting distributors and shopkeepers, to say nothing of the garden stores that sell them equipment and supplies, the accountants who do their books and the municipal tax officials who delight in assessing and collecting the new tax revenues.

    Kleiman might well have uttered, “The law is the law.”

    But the law is neither absolute nor infallible, and that’s why Californians can — and should — legalize, regulate and tax marijuana-related commerce.

    The federal-state dynamic concerning marijuana is not complicated. Under our system of federalism, both the states and the feds may prohibit commerce in marijuana, but neither is required to do so. Similarly, during alcohol prohibition (1920-33), commerce in alcoholic beverages was prohibited not only by federal law (the Volstead Act) but by the laws of most states. In 1923, New York repealed its state prohibition laws, leaving enforcement, for the remaining 10 years, entirely to the feds. California voters overwhelmingly did the same thing in 1932, one year before national prohibition was repealed.

    Let’s think this through. If Proposition 19 passes, two important balls roll into the feds’ court. The first is that the sole responsibility and expense of enforcing marijuana prohibition will be shifted to them. After Nov. 2, marijuana “offenders” could be arrested only by federal agents, prosecuted only under federal law, and sentenced only to federal detention.

    If the feds undertook this, cases involving simple possession cases and small-time marijuana businesspeople, usually relegated to state courts, would flood federal courthouses. But even with a drastic increase in funding for federal enforcement, such activity would barely put a dent in California’s marijuana trade, and would fail to stifle California’s policy change, as the federal government has failed to do since the first medical marijuana laws were passed 14 years ago. Moreover, justifying the invasion into a state’s province to undermine the will of the voters at such great expense to taxpayers would be highly questionable, especially in the current economic climate, not to mention a political climate that is at best lukewarm on prohibitionist policies.

    The second ball is even more significant. Voter approval of Proposition 19 would shift to the feds the responsibility and burden of justifying marijuana prohibition in the first place. Now, the Washingtonians who have never questioned decades of anti-pot propaganda can explain to the people of California why we cannot be trusted to determine our state’s marijuana policies. Let them endorse the prohibition laws’ usefulness as a tool of oppressing minorities. Let them celebrate how minor marijuana violations cost people their jobs, their housing, custody of their kids, and entrap them permanently in vast criminal justice databases. Let them justify the utter hypocrisy of the legal treatment of alcohol and tobacco, as compared with the illegal treatment of marijuana. Let them tell us how many more people will have to be prosecuted and punished before marijuana is eradicated, how much that will cost, and where the money will come from.

    Proposition 19’s success in November would put the feds in a quandary, yes, but it is a quandary of their own making. Unlike alcohol prohibition, which required a constitutional amendment, Congress could fix this easily with a simple amendment to the Controlled Substances Act allowing conduct legal under state law and respecting the right of states to regulate and tax the cannabis industry. After all, determining what is a crime is traditionally handled at the state level; indeed, federal prosecutions of drug possession make up a miniscule portion of overall drug arrests.

    Instead of hewing to a misguided and unworkable federal hegemony in this area, encouraging innovation at the state level would be a more rational federal policy. And to be clear, legal scholars have long disagreed with Kleiman’s conclusion that the feds must and will intervene to try to quell state action in this area.

    States need not shrink from countering federal policy on marijuana. California can show leadership in driving needed reforms, as it has before. In other words, the law need not be the law if you’re willing to stick your neck out. Cautious academics and politicized public employees will always embrace the status quo, joined by risk-averse politicians who misconstrue a lack of constituent “noise” on this issue as satisfaction with current law, not fear. But voters know better.

    Not only can Californians regulate and tax marijuana, we should.

    Hanna Liebman Dershowitz, an attorney in Los Angeles, is a member of the Proposition 19 legal subcommittee.

    -Article from The Los Angeles Times.

  13. Anonymous on

    Police don’t post here- they don’t have to anymore, Marc Emery is Jail as a prisoner of his enemies and the Overgrow the Government movement is 100% finished

    Isn’t it bad enough you are him, a paranoid self righteous stoner goof?> California law must bow to Federal law – ask any of the raided medpot dispensaries. Prop 19 is a sports event- when all is said and nothing is done, it will just be a ball to kick around, maybe grow a couple of those Jake and ask some guy to marry you
    Meanwhile Marc Emery rots in jail and you see cops everywhere where there are none, no wonder legalization is getting nowhere with geniuses like you involved

  14. Anonymous on

    Amen to that.

    I do agree with the point made about ‘isn’t hash a product of enemy nations,” but uh…hash isn’t the only thing being smoked there. To tell you the truth, I’ve smoked there, and I didn’t see anything but decent green.

    If you guys were any “activist” supporting good cannabis law, which is why I assume you use this site….you would also support the international push for freedom, be it jews, arabs, hispanics, whites. Shame on you.

    These people deserve it as much as your little Prop 19, if not more. Any move towards a better constitution is a good move, even if your country has already failed you at everything else.

  15. Jake on

    Why don’t you go have donuts and coffee and watch fox news. You pigs are hilarious. I love watching you assholes cry in despair knowing your loosing the battle. Prop 19 probably puts you in a terrible and hateful mood which makes me happy. I’ll smoke a joint tonight in peace and be happy and laugh knowing all you right wing lunatics are so pissed off!

    P.S. I use my name grow some balls and do the same!

  16. Anonymous on

    Isn;t hash a smuggled product from Lebanon and Syria..that comes in through the same secret tunnels that bring in guns and ammo to Gaza? Isn’t there a terrible problem already with smugglers bringing dope into Israel and taking their money away to fund their enemies? Wouldn’t homegrown pot in Israel suck up precious agricultural land & guzzle precious water and fertilizer ?
    And if grown indoors, eat up expensive electrical power and destroy precious real estate? Isn’t Israel a nation at war – surrounded by enemies who want her dead who can’t really afford a bunch of stoners in the way of defending itself?

    isn’t the Israeli army and police agencies already wrung out without additional lawbreaking to eat up their time and energy.. It is stupid, selfish and dangerous to be a pot smoker in a war zone

  17. Anonymous on

    The hispanics were low in the vote because half of them are illegal, most likely in CA.

  18. Anonymous on

    There’s more money than anything wasted on wars, because Israel is a religious fuckhole of a country, keep supporting their war and what the F you doing using that as an excuse!, a few searches??? Are they discriminated??? No they’re likely refugees or in hate of americans or whitey’s, just like the 500 Sri Lanka’s sent to Canada this past week. Damn, Using their background as an advantage for free weed. When you know its still illegal, don’t pull a spliff out on the beach with other people standing around you! It’s too bad you got searched, but that amount of money wasted doesn’t mean shit compared to the country you’re running from!