Cannabis and the Cronies
The threat was loud and clear. “If you continue to pressure (about cannabis) you will not be a Knesset Member any longer,” MK Oren Hazan’s father threatened me.
Now you can understand why Oren Hazan is fighting so hard against legalization.
“MK Feiglin is falsely accusing us,” cried the General Manager of the Sarel Company. If he did not enjoy parliamentary immunity, we would sue him now for libel.”
“At this moment I remove my parliamentary immunity,” I answered. “You are welcome to sue me.”
Of course, no libel suit ever surfaced from the Sarel Company of insiders and cronies, which enjoys a permanent exemption from competing in tenders for furnishing supplies to Israel’s government-owned hospitals. The well-connected and cynical company fully understands the gold-mine potential of the Israeli cannabis market.
As an MK, I managed to insert some changes in the cannabis “reform”. But instead of opening the market so that the ill could get their medicine, instead of allowing Israeli agriculture to thrive and instead of affording Israel’s citizens the liberty to decide for themselves what they would like to smoke – the reform ultimately concentrated all of that potential in the hands of one Mafioso group.
Imagine if 20 years ago, someone had understood the potential of the up-and-coming high-tech industry and would have established a “reform” that would allow only insiders to enter the field. Imagine if they would have formed special police units to prevent the development and export of Israeli high-tech without a license (which of course, would only be given to those in the insiders group).
How would Israel’s economy have looked today? How would Tel Aviv’s skyline have looked?
Cannabis is a health and economic potential of the same caliber. Israel was already researching and developing thousands of strains specific to various illnesses. Most of this potential has already migrated overseas. This is a huge export potential that could create tens of thousands of jobs in smart cannabis farms in Israel’s outlying areas.
Above and beyond everything else, these strains of cannabis can save the lives of cancer patients – sometimes literally curing them – and provide relief for many serious medical conditions. These medicines are currently cruelly and cynically barred from Israel’s ill.
The ZEHUT party will continue to fight for legalization.
When ZEHUT will be the decisive factor in the formation of the next government coalition – there will not be a new government formed without legalization from the very start of the new Knesset term.