Zehut movement Chairman Moshe Feiglin issued a policy paper conditioning future political agreements on inclusion of cannabis legalization in Israel. This comes the same week a new law allows export of medical cannabis, a move expected to generate 1 billion shekels in revenue annually.
"Cancer patients in Israel are dying because of the State’s stubborn determination to keep the keys to the only medicine that will help them – cannabis – in its own hands," Feiglin wrote.
"I know from experience that cannabis helps." Feiglin’s wife is known to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and has gotten relief from cannabis. "I've seen it with my own eyes, and one thousand 'expert' doctors and establishment representatives who'll go to a thousand boring Knesset meetings and yet again employ the cynical and evil claim that 'we don’t have proof it helps' don't interest me and won't make me change my mind," Feiglin wrote.
Cannabis efficacy has been receiving more recognition in general, and while the law passed Tuesday conditions growing cannabis on a Health Ministry license with police providing approval and monitoring growers and investors, nearly two dozen countries have legalized medical marijuana use and public figures like Feiglin, MK Sharren Haskel, and MK Yoav Kisch are active in various capacities to promote tapping the plant's potential.
MK Yoav Kish of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party, who penned the law, noted its "huge economic potential" for the state and farmers, calling medical cannabis "a blessed product that eases the suffering of the sick".
Feiglin's announcement continued, "I've reached the conclusion that it is impossible to separate medical cannabis from freeing up cannabis for the entire population. The system is attempting to control general consumption. To accomplish that goal, it abuses the dying.
"It's impossible to simultaneously press on the gas pedal and the brakes. General and medical consumption are connected, and no reform will manage to separate the two. Free up cannabis. That is what must be done. Legalize it in an orderly fashion, like in Canada.
"There's no need for fear; cannabis is not harmful like cigarettes and not addictive like alcohol. It will certainly not be harmful if it is sold in an orderly fashion in drug stores," Feiglin stated.
The position statement concluded with a policy statement saying "1) Zehut is committed to legalization in the upcoming Knesset. Any political agreement we make will be conditional on legalization.
"2) A person fighting for his life does not have to surrender and die because of cynical and evil regulations, the purpose of which is to give the State control over citizens' lives. Someone who breaks the law and finds a way to acquire the medicine he needs will receive my full backing and aid," Feiglin wrote.