Many soldiers use illegal ‘kiosk’ drugs
“The authorities aren’t doing their job, and criminals are not punished. This cannot continue,” MK a-Sanaa says.
The Israeli public fear being taken advantage of Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Soldiers’ use of illegal drugs sold at kiosks is “widespread,” according to the
IDF. The police admit that their ability to catch violators who sell them
This was said on Tuesday at a meeting of the Knesset
Committee on Drug Abuse. Committee chairman Taleb a-Sanaa said there is
open marketing of these drugs, which have very dangerous effects.
authorities aren’t doing their job, and criminals are not punished. This cannot
continue,” the MK said.
Aharon Grundman and Roni Berkovich of the Health
Ministry’s pharmaceutical crime unit said the drugs are 40 times more powerful
than marijuana. A soldier died recently a day after taking drugs, and four
soldiers were hospitalized. “The police don’t do enough. Legal action must be
taken against the marketer, producer and importer, but the authorities don’t do
it,” they said.
Ch.-Supt. Ehud Wolf, head of the police’s analytical lab,
said the complaints were inaccurate. “Every year, we hold about 10 comprehensive
campaigns to nab those selling illegal drugs, and hundreds of samples arrive at
the lab, where they are checked and identified. But there are chemical
substances on which there is no information in the scientific
So we can’t act in these cases. There are ways for civilian
authorities to take action, as in the Haifa Municipality, which will not provide
a business license if a retailer sells drugs.”
Supt. Kobi Ezra, an
assistant to the Public Security Ministry’s legal adviser, said it has a limited
ability to cope with drugs that are not yet listed as dangerous because they are
new and unknown. “The legislation has to be amended, and this takes
An IDF representative said that it too has difficulties taking
legal action. The phenomenon is very common among soldiers, and the drugs cause
serious side effects including delirium, tremors and difficulties using weapons.
In most cases, we have difficulty presenting indictments for use, because they
claim the drugs are legal and we can’t prove otherwise.”
Sanaa called on
the Health Ministry and the police to prepare a program to cope effectively with
the phenomenon and to present recommendations to the committee within six weeks.