Reuters recently reported that the State of Colorado has approved the unrestricted sale of marijuana to adults, after state residents voted in a referendum to legalize it.
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Colorado? Is the puritan United States, the great power that invested billions in the war on light drugs and threw people in jail for possessing marijuana, making a U-turn? The state of Washington has also legalized marijuana and it’s expected that other U.S. states are going to follow suit.
While Israel always lags behind America, it’s clear that this trend will reach us as well. Perhaps it’s time to get a head start on circumventing Health Minister Yael German and the director-general of her ministry, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who desperately want some pharmaceutical company to synthesize the plant so that it can be sold “legally.” It’s time to intensify the struggle to legalize marijuana and demand that it also be permitted for “enjoyment purposes,” − just for fun − as the law in Colorado states. There they’ve come to understand that there’s no difference between alcohol that’s consumed in moderation, and marijuana. The difference is only in the prejudices that have become fixed over the decades in the war on drugs.
The time has come to remove marijuana from the category of illegal drugs and recognize that it has the ability to make our lives easier, particularly in the tense and fearful place we live. Instead of opium for the masses − marijuana.
The important part of amending the law in Colorado was the referendum. The result represents the wisdom of the masses, which chose to add cannabis products to their shopping basket. The legislators, whether they agree with it or not, are obligated to respond to the voters’ wish.
Anyone who is familiar with the American cultural milieu outside New York and a few other big cities knows that we’re talking about a conservative population. And if this population voted to legalize marijuana, then apparently those for whom social solidarity is important, who certainly cannot be suspected of anarchism, have internalized it that marijuana is not going to collapse the social order.
Tens of thousands of Israelis already consume marijuana today. They have not turned into anarchists; they are still good bourgeoisie who keep their noses clean and pay their taxes.
Instead of waiting for German and Gamzu to approval medical cannabis not just for pain, but also for depression and allow any physician to prescribe it, a coalition should be established that will promote a referendum on the issue. Between Moshe Feiglin and Nitzan Horowitz, enough MKs can be recruited to advance the idea.
Obviously the medical establishment will object, and the anti-drug associations will oppose it, but most citizens will vote in favor. We don’t need any more research to know that tobacco and alcohol and “kiosk drugs” are more dangerous to health than marijuana. If marijuana could be sold in stores, as in Colorado, it will become a consumer commodity. Here’s a vision of the end of days: Buy some weed at a convenience store, and relax.
In Colorado the new laws allow the police to check the level of drugs in a driver’s blood, and that could be done in Israel as well. As with alcohol, whoever smokes (more than one joint) cannot drive.