Israelis celebrate Int'l Marijuana Day

In TA city officials shut down loudspeakers and the drinks bar.

In over 150 cities throughout the world on Saturday, millions of people celebrated International Marijuana Day, which calls for legalizing the private use of the cannabis plant. In Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv and Sacher Park in Jerusalem, Israelis gathered for the ninth year in a row for a mass picnic in honor of the day. The heads of the Green Leaf Party, along with other cannabis legalization activists, were expected to speak at the gatherings. The event was also being celebrated on Eilat's Magdalor Beach in the south of the country. In Tel Aviv, however, municipality officials shut down the loudspeakers at the event, as well as the drinks bar, which they said had not been properly authorized by the city. In Jerusalem, where only a few dozen people arrived at the park to mark the day, no disruptions were reported. Many of the revelers donned mock police caps with an image of a cannabis plant on it. The chairwoman of the Al-Sam anti-drug organization, Liora Ofer, submitted an urgent appeal to the High Court of Justice last Thursday in which she demanded that the court prevent minors from participating in the day's activities. Ofer also demanded that police check for drugs at the entrances to the gatherings.