Meretz MK Zandberg admits to smoking cannabis

"I'm not a criminal if I smoke a joint," MK Tamar Zandberg says, calling the public more progressive than its leaders.

Tamar Zandberg (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Tamar Zandberg
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Meretz lawmaker Tamar Zandberg said she occasionally smokes marijuana, which is illegal, in an interview Friday.
Zandberg is one of the most outspoken proponents of legalizing cannabis in the Knesset, together with MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu), who says he has never used the drug.
“Like everyone else, I smoke sometimes. I’m not a criminal and I’m not a delinquent,” she told Walla News interviewer Yinon Magal.
“Just like you drink wine sometimes, even though alcohol is more dangerous [than cannabis]. Just like [Education Minister] Shai Piron takes Ritalin.”
The Meretz MK said she smokes “like everyone else, in social situations. My day starts very early and ends very late, sometimes with watching an episode of Game of Thrones. I want to relay the message that smoking [cannabis] in my spare time is routine behavior, like drinking wine – not as much like taking Ritalin.”
According to Zandberg, cannabis “is negatively stereotyped in a way that combines ignorance and conservatism. The time has come to change that.”
The Meretz MK said that many opinion leaders, from celebrities to politicians, see that the public is for legalization or at least decriminalization of marijuana use and that “the public is in a more progressive place than its leaders.”
MKs have automatic parliamentary immunity for actions taken as part of their jobs and can ask the Knesset House Committee for immunity for crimes committed in order to fulfill their jobs as MKs, if the Knesset Ethics Committee already dealt with the action or if going to court would harm their ability to do their job and represent their voters.