Cannabis activists challenge ban on 'smoking rally'

Israel Police say Marijuana Day rally where people publicly smoke cannabis will nor be tolerated in Tel Aviv.

311_Marijuana (photo credit: MCT)
(photo credit: MCT)
Cannabis activists have legally challenged a police ban on a Marijuana Day rally, in which people publicly smoke the substance to protest its illegal status every year on April 20.
But the Israel Police notified the activists that any such rally in Tel Aviv would not be tolerated, and refused to authorize the event, saying it constitutes a blatant violation of the law.
The activists, represented by the Dor Emet (“Truth Generation”) interest group, placed an appeal in the High Court of Law against the decision.
The High Court has asked the police to explain its decision within two weeks, before coming to a final decision on the case, a Dor Emet statement released on Tuesday said.
The appeal, led by attorney Dekel David Ozer, is based on “freedom of expression,” and is aimed to protect an event that presents “no danger to public order,” the organization added.
Ozer said many works of research showed that smoking cannabis not only does not cause health or social harm, but that, compared to legal drugs like nicotine in cigarettes and alcohol, it often acts as a healing agent.
The appeal is also aimed at challenging the criminalization of “Israelis who use cannabis, or to be more accurate, the unrestrained pursuit of a entire public which is quiet and law abiding,” Ozer said.