Israel

Medical marijuana backlash in Israel

Posted on June 15th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Middle EastIsrael has been a global leader in medical marijuana, but the country's state-run program is now meeting a backlash amid concerns that it is serving as a cover for recreational use. Israeli news site YNet on June 15 reports that the new director of Ichilov Hospital at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, former Health Ministry director general Ronni Gamzu, has sent out a memo to his staff instructing that cannabis prescriptions be given only to patients with terminal cancer, and only with approval of the hospital's Oncology Ward. Gamzu's memo also instructs doctors to consider revoking the permits of patients who come to the hospital's pain clinic with cannabis prescriptions.

Israel: legalization goes mainstream

Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastCannabis legalization as a political platform in Israel has traditionally been the domain of the Green Leaf Party, an idealistic, single-issue effort which has yet to gain even one seat in the Knesset. But Israeli news site YNet reported March 3 that Meretz, a traditional party of the center-left, held a confab at the Zionist Organization of America building in Tel Aviv to promote medical marijuana (at least), with more general legalization also discussed. Entertainment was provided by topical hip-hop/funk outfit Hadag Nachash before headlining speakers including Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg and Dr. Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Yarden Gazit of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS) protested that more than 18,000 criminal cases are opened a year for cannabis-related offenses—despite the fact that only 25% of Israel's populace supports criminalization. Urged  Zandberg in her closing remarks: "If you are a leftist, if you support legalization—vote Meretz."

ISIS on meth: evidence mounts

Posted on February 11th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

ISISOK, some of the sources have axes to grind, but claims are mounting that the ultra-puritanical ISIS are stoned out of their minds on meth. Reuters reported last month that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has noted a surge in trafficking across the Middle East of Captagon, brand-name of fenethylline—an amphetamine notorious for its popularity among militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. Black-market knock-offs of the stuff are being produced by armed factions in Syria, both to fund their insurgencies and for their own fighters' use. Reuters said, "Syrian government forces and rebel groups each say the other uses Captagon to endure protracted engagements without sleep." We're sure they're both right.

Uruguay to releive Israel's cannabis drought?

Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastUruguay is still developing its nascent cannabis economy following the Christmas Eve signing of the new legalization law, but its leaders have already broached international exports. Diego Cánepa, media spokesman for President José Mujica, said that while development of the domestic market is the priority, representatives from countries including Israel, Canada and Chile have contacted Uruguay to inquire on importing prospects.  "It was not the law’s intention to regulate international trade of marijuana, but Uruguay is open and enthusiastic at the possibility," said Cánepa to Montevideo newspaper La Red 21 in comments picked up by International Business Times. Several private companies have even expressed interest in opening cannabis laboratories in Uruguay, he said. "It would be a challenge, if labs were to open installations in Uruguay," admitted Cánepa. "It goes beyond what the law previewed, but it would turn Uruguay into a biotechnology center. That is a huge step forward."

Strange bedfellows in Israel medical cannabis push

Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael has the world's highest proportion of registered medical marijuana users—but the program has been kept under tight control of the Health Ministry. Now, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is set to vote on a bill that would allow private physicians to prescribe cannabis for their patients. Health Minister Yael German opposes the measure, making the usual argument that it would open the floodgates of recreational use: "It would not be unrealistic to assume that there would be patients who would pressure doctors to write them a cannabis prescription for any bump, headache or toothache."

Reefer Rabbis

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Cannabis ChassidisHere's a little experiment to determine immediately if you will like the book Cannabis Chassidis: The Ancient and Emerging Torah of Drugs, now available from Brooklyn's anarchist-oriented Autonomedia. Author Yoseph Leib has determined that the three letters in the Hebrew word for "smoke," ashan (ayin, shin and nun), work out numerologically to... 420. Get it? Mazel tov, dude!

Legalization party wins with Israeli soldiers

Posted on January 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Middle EastIsrael's election results are in, and some 8,500 absentee ballots—mostly cast by Israeli Defense Forces soldiers—went to the Ale Yarok (Green Leaf) party, famous for its pro-legalization platform. The party failed to cross the 2% threshold for gaining a Knesset seat, receiving only 1.15% of the popular vote with 43,725 votes. However, if the Knesset was formed solely by absentee votes (known in Israel as double envelope votes), the party would have received four to five seats.

Israeli scientists develop buzz-free cannabis

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

THCIsraeli scientists have developed a non-psychoative cannabis variety, in what is being portrayed as a boost for medical marijuana. According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, the new variety looks, smells and even tastes "the same" as psychoactive varieties. "It has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant—it's all the same—but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared," said Tzahi Klein, head of development at Tikkun Olam, the firm that developed what an AFP account calls "the species." Klein adds: "Many of our patients who tried the new plant come back to us and say: 'You tricked me'"—because they assumed they had been given a placebo.

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman