Telegrass founder runs for office – 'If Netanyahu can do it so can we'

Amos Dov Silver, who is currently serving time in prison for creating the Telegrass online cannabis portal, is second on the Economics Dawn list.

cannabis background macro close up (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
cannabis background macro close up
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The founder of Telegrass, a mass cannabis distribution network that used encryption to connect consumers with sellers, has announced his intention to run for Knesset during the upcoming March elections on Tuesday.
Launched in 2017 by Amos Dov Silver, Telegrass illegally employed dozens of administrators and thousands of dealers, and was estimated to have more than 100,000 members. The company's monthly earnings were reported to be around NIS 60 million, none of which was taxed, and the state had no way to oversee what was sold or bought there.
Silver, who is an American-Israeli, was arrested in Ukraine last August when he flew there to attend a wedding and was extradited to Israel. The police operation reportedly cost Israeli taxpayers NIS 8 million ($2.3m.), Mako reported.  He is being detained at Nitzan prison in Ramle due to an indictment for alleged drug dealing and for running the Telegrass operation.
Despite this, he is now No. 2 on the Economic Dawn list, a party led by Gilad Alper, formally of the right-leaning libertarian party Zehut.
Silver's wife, Gali Amar, told Ynet on Tuesday that the “allegations against [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu are more serious” than those her husband faces, and if “Netanyahu can do it [run for political office], so can we.”
Alper claimed that Silver's Telegrass service “saved thousands of Israelis who needed medical cannabis and were unable to get it from the state [legally].”
While Israel has legal medical cannabis offered to patients who suffer from cancer and PTSD for example, various Health Ministry reforms led to a great deal of anger as many patients were unable to make head or tails of what is demanded of them.
The ministry expressed concerns that medical cannabis will be used for recreational purposes, which is still a crime in this country.
“Even today, thousands of Israelis turn to Telegrass when they need medical cannabis.” Alper said. “They are only illegal because the state refuses to sell to them. What the state does offer [to sick people] is of such low quality that it is not useful.”
Alper, who sought the position of finance minister when he was with Zehut, has a history of pushing the boundaries through his parties. While with Zehut, the party claimed it was “not a normal party” because it dared to believe in things Israelis “were trained not to consider.”
Like bitcoin or the so-called dark-web, Telegrass is an example of how new technologies can frog-leap legal norms. Silver has denied being a drug dealer. Rather, he argues, he merely provided an online platform for others to use as they wish.
Zehut also drew a lot of attention because it claimed it would legalize cannabis use, arguing that individuals have complete autonomy over their body and should therefore be allowed to decide whether they wish to consume drugs or not.
Other countries, such as Portugal and Switzerland, have decriminalized drug usage, and pledge resources to help drug addicts become clean rather than placing them in prison.
Alper has also made controversial claims in the past. Last March he argued that, in matters of real-estate related bureaucracy, Israel is ranked 86th in the world, below Yemen and the Palestinian Authority. “The problem is not us Israelis,” he said, “it’s the system in which politics is done in this country.”
He suggested a ban on strikes on “vital services” such as the trains, and the dismantling of organized labor in the country. 
Libertarianism is a loose collection of views centered around the idea that the state is the enemy of the people, and that individuals should be given maximum freedom to pursue their interests.
Unlike Anarchism, which believes that people should choose mutual aid and deeper human relations in a post-capitalist society, Libertarians usually believe that Capitalism will outlive, and should outlive, the nation state and the rules it imposes.
Alper himself claimed his party supports freedom of religion, free trade, and to cancel the monopoly the Chief Rabbinical Court now enjoys in marriages, kosher food and burial.