Daily Israel Report

Report: Eleven More MKs Join Knesset 'Pot Party'

According to a report on Channel Ten, at least 12 of the 120 members of the Knesset have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives
By David Lev
First Publish: 10/13/2013, 8:49 PM

Cannabis plant
Cannabis plant
Flash90

Labor head Shelly Yechimovich isn't the only Knesset member who “inhaled,” according to a report on Channel Ten. At least 11 more of the 120 members of Israel's legislative body have smoked marijuana at one time or another in their lives.

In the wake of recent admissions by Yechimovich that she indulged – and the insistence of Finance Minister Yair Lapid that he did not – 11 more MKs have admitted smoking. Among them: Avishai Braverman, Eitan Cabel, Mickey Rosenthal, and Steve Shapir (Labor); Adi Kol, Yifat Kariv, Yoel Rosenberg, and Pnina Tamno-Shata (Yesh Atid); and Ilan Gilon, Tamar Zandberg, and Michal Rosin (Meretz).

None of the MKs named in the report had an immediate comment.

Last week, Yechimovich admitted smoking marijuana when she was a teenager. “I'm at peace with my past,” Yechimovich said in a television interview, but Channel Ten said it had unearthed an interview she gave before the elections in which she denied taking any drugs at all in the past. Party insiders say that the fact that she changed her story would hurt her with some of the younger, idealistic members of the party – while some of the older, more conservative members would disapprove of her smoking altogether. The insiders said that Yechimovich could have trouble getting elected to lead the party again in the next Labor primary.

Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding Lapid's denials continued to swirl. Lapid has denied smoking pot in several interviews, but anecdotal evidence that he did – in the form of claims by friends and acquaintances that they smoked with him – continued to mount. The latest “testimony” came from Tomer Sharon, an actor who worked with Lapid numerous times in the past.

According to Sharon, he smoked marijuana with Lapid when both were in the army, Channel Ten said. “Yair was the writer of our program for the Nachal troupe,” Sharon wrote on his Facebook page. “The difference between Yair before he took a puff and after he took one was radical. Before, you were dealing with an intelligent, somewhat arrogant, and emotionally closed off individual, while afterwards, he became a charming person who would break down laughing at the smallest thing, and encouraged us to do the same,” he wrote.