Right now as you read this, a ship carrying marijuana activists and nearly 1,000 pounds of weed is headed for the shores of Israel.
Their vessel, the “Erdalena,” is currently sailing through the Mediterranean Ocean toward Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv. Once ashore sometime tomorrow afternoon, these medical marijuana activists plan to distribute cannabis to sick patients who have been experiencing difficulty obtaining medicinal cannabis permits from the government.
Marijuana has been a hot topic in Israel as of late, particularly since June when Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman put the kibosh on decriminalization efforts for up to 15 grams. Those political actions ruffled the feathers of patients and other citizens who felt that access to cannabis medicine in Israel has been far too restrictive.
“On Friday afternoon an historical event will occur. The cannabis blockade in Israel will come to an end,” one activist said to the Israeli-based Cannabis Magazine. “It’s impossible that one man, Gilad Erdan, can block the will of the public. Erdan is an elected official and he must do what the public wants.”
The activists believe that the government does not understand the reality on the ground when it comes to cannabis. They are not expecting any interference from the local authorities.
The irony of this scenario is that although prohibition and criminalization still clearly exist in Israel, the country is arguably the world leader in cannabis research. Technological companies for the pot industry are funded there and studies of marijuana for the treatment of autism, neuroblastoma, and Alzheimer’s Disease are being conducted there.
If you happen to be in Tel Aviv tomorrow afternoon and want to watch this all unfold, grab some sunscreen and a towel and park yourself on Gordon Beach. You may even get your hands on some great ganja, fresh off the boat.