Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for World MJ Day

  Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for World MJ Day

Posted by CN Staff on May 07, 2005 at 11:54:12 PT
By Tamara Traubman and Jonathan Lis 
Source: Ha'aretz 

Israel -- Thousands gathered at Hayarkon Park on Saturday for the "World Marijuana Day Picnic" to express support for the legalization of the narcotic.Police arrested 15 participants for alleged drug use despite the fact that the event appeared more to resemble Tel Avivans' taking advantage of a summer-like day to tan in the sun.
World Marijuana Day was first celebrated in New York in 1969 as a protest against the ban on the use of cannabis. The day was marked for the eighth consecutive year in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem, a picnic was also held to honor the occasion at Sakar Gardens in Jerusalem.However, since the Jerusalem event was staged without a permit from the municipality, it was quickly shut down. Police arrested three of the event's organizers.Addressing the event in Tel Aviv for the second straight year, Yahad MK Roman Bronfman criticized the state's current anti-drug policy."We must change the law and move from a conservative policy to a policy that is accepted in some of the more advanced countries, 'a minimal damage policy'," Bronfman said.Bronfman cited the need to provide the public with credible information about the damages caused by so-called light drugs as opposed to more serious narcotics.Bronfman said the police must cease its pursuit of light-drug users, who present an easy target for law enforcement. Police should focus on the root of the problem, namely the drug trafficking, an industry which generates billions of dollars annually, Bronfman said.The chairman of the Knesset's Anti-Drug Abuse committee, MK Yehiel Hazan (Likud), threatened to file complaint against Bronfman with the Knesset Ethics Committee due to his participation in the event, Army Radio reported.Event organizers say the widespread perception that police do not harass marijuana users who smoke for recreational purposes is an incorrect one, adding that 13,000 cases are opened a year by police against drug users.Complete Title: Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv To Mark 'World Marijuana Day' Source: Ha'aretz (Israel)Author: Tamara Traubman and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondents Published: May 7, 2005Copyright: 2005 Ha'aretz Daily Newspaper Ltd.Contact: letters -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #16 posted by eco-man on May 08, 2005 at 15:00:20 PT
Pre-rally attacks by Knesset Drug Committee.
Found this pre-rally article from a Google News Search for Bronfman and marijuana: Sheva. IsraelNationalNews.com Demote Bronfman for Marijuana Support 01:25 May 05, '05 / 26 Nisan 5765
 ( Knesset member Yehiel Hazan (Likud), chairman of the Knesset Drug Committee, said today that MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz/Yahad) should be removed from the committee because of his support for a Marijuana Day rally this Saturday. The event will encourage drug use, said Hazan. Earlier in the day, MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) asked Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi to cancel the rally because of expected law-breaking by people smoking marijuana.
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Comment #15 posted by eco-man on May 08, 2005 at 14:51:31 PT
More from Jerusalem Post on World Marijuana Day. Post.May. 8, 2005 9:27.Hazan: MK Bronfman "cooperating with drug dealers".Likud MK Yehiel Hazan called Yahad MK Roman Bronfman's participation in Saturday's World Marijuana Day events in Tel Aviv "cooperation with drug dealers." Hazan, the chairman of Anti-Drug Committee, added that he would file a complaint against Bronfman with the Knesset's Ethics Committee, Army Radio reported. Bronfman called upon the police to target drug dealers, in his speech to participants marking World Marijuana Day in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park Saturday evening. But he also supported the right to lobby against the prohibition of light drugs. Bronfman told Army Radio that the government's current policies are "weak." Hazan responded, saying that "every type of legitimization of drugs is a crime against society." Between the Marijuana Day events that took place in Jerusalem's Sacher Park and Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park, 18 people were arrested for suspected drug use, though participants had been asked not to bring drugs, or drug paraphernalia, to the picnic and speech events. The day was observed in 120 cities worldwide.
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Comment #14 posted by eco-man on May 08, 2005 at 14:41:39 PT
Jerusalem Police hold 7 for marking Marijuana Day. Post.May. 7, 2005 22:32 | Updated May. 7, 2005 22:35.Jerusalem Police hold 7 for marking Marijuana DayJerusalem Police on Saturday detained seven people in a city park suspected of using marijuana during an illegal picnic marking World Marijuana Day, police said. Police ordered dozens of people taking part in the event at the city's Sacher Park to disperse and confiscated a variety of material used in the gathering, which was organized by members of the Green Leaf party, which wants to legalize the narcotic.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 19:35:02 PT
I found this link and thought you and others might like to see it too.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 19:16:12 PT

Here's a picture I found and Woodstock was in Bethel. It was in August of 1969 and is now being developed. I believe David Bowie and Art Garfunkel have farms there but I could be wrong.From the link: Bethel translates to "House Of God" in Hebrew. We, who are fortunate to live here, invite you to take a quiet "cyber hike" with us as we explore the Sylvan Grandeur of "God's House"
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Comment #11 posted by global_warming on May 07, 2005 at 19:01:36 PT

When is the anniversary of Woodstock?I guess someday, like veterans of WW2, Those that attended Woodstock,Will become some kind of heroes.Imagine sometime, when the last living person,Who walked on Yasgers Farm,About 100 years after the Civil War,In these United States,There was another war,It happened at Woodstock,Only this time, instead of cannons,Peace and Love walked on Yasgers Land.Peacegw
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 07, 2005 at 18:34:00 PT

Way to Go, Israel!
Brave and admirable people stood up all over the world today. Roman Bronfman, member of the Knesset, is to be applauded especially loudly. It makes me feel better, more hopeful, and God knows we need it, to know that so many people are willing to stand up and say something when so many, foolishly, accept a government wrong as right. Way to go, Israel!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 18:25:36 PT

Thank you for the link. I hadn't seen it. The problem I have with news is I can't barely handle reading anything except cannabis related news. The drug war never changes. It keeps going on and on and I doubt in my lifetime that anything will change. Look how they fight us about cannabis and if we can't even win with all the support we have I just don't know what will ever become of the drug war in other countries. I try to keep myself from getting discouraged so I stopped reading news that seems hopeless to me. That's sad I know but it's how I must look at it or I would just want to give up if that makes sense.
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Comment #8 posted by duzt on May 07, 2005 at 18:09:23 PT

fom, I'm sure you saw this, just in case....
I thought this was a good article. It brings up some good points.
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Comment #7 posted by global_warming on May 07, 2005 at 16:21:07 PT

Still Voting Green
"Great people are willing to stand up to a government gone wrong, to force their government to be truthful and honest and moral. Great people know that freedom is impossible under a government that lies because lies are tools of enslavement, and that chains built of false beliefs hold slaves tighter than chains made of steel...Slaves will cower before a government they know lies to them, bless the face that lies to them, and ask for more. And now the world watches to see if Americans are a great people, or just slaves living under the delusion they are a free people."
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 15:51:24 PT

More from Israel
Tel Avivians Picnic on the Grass on International Marijuana Day 
By Tamara Traubman 
Thousands of people gathered at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv yesterday to take part in the International Marijuana Day picnic and call for the legalization of marijuana."This is a day of protest, to show how peaceful, unaggressive and law-abiding the people who support legalization are," said Lior Lubelski, one of the organizers. 
The event was far from being a potheads' convention, but rather resembled a picnic of Tel Avivians enjoying a sunny day on the grass. Instead of joints, reefers and bongs, there was sunshine, dub and reggae music and a few speeches.MK Roman Bronfman (Yahad), one of the speakers at the event, spoke out against the police's drug policy, which he said did more harm than good.He called to "decriminalize" marijuana use. "The present situation is absurd," he said. "About a million people smoke grass, and according to the law they're all criminals."He urged the police to stop persecuting soft drug users and focus on drug trafficking, which has a turnover of billions of dollars a year. He suggested adopting the drug policy of certain progressive states, which consists of providing reliable information about drug hazards and distinguishing between hard and soft drugs.The organizers, who belong to the Coalition of Drug Reform Organizers in Israel, blasted the police for harassing people who smoke marijuana but do not trade in it. They said police start procedures against some 13,000 of them annually.International Marijuana Day was first celebrated in 1969 in New York, with a protest march against the prohibition on using cannabis. Tel Aviv marked the event for the eighth consecutive year yesterday. A simultaneous picnic was held in Jerusalem's Sacher Park.Last year the police raided the park a few hours after the picnic began."All the undercover cops that were here last year are here again today," Lubelski said, looking around.This time organizers asked the participants to refrain from bringing substances categorized as illegal. Anyone observed holding prohibited material was asked politely not to use it until returning home.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 13:51:04 PT

Update from Israel
Marijuana Day Ends in Arrests15 arrested in Tel Aviv, 7 in Jerusalem, for drug possession and use; Knesset Member Roman Bronfman on hand to support legal distinction between ‘light’ and ‘hard’ drugs. By Miri HassonMore than 20 people were arrested for drug use and possession and during Marijuana Day events held in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park and Jerusalem’s Sacher Park Saturday. In Jerusalem, where Marijuana Day was marked for the first time, police closed down the celebrations and ordered the dozens of participants to leave the premises. Knesset Member Roman Bronfman (Yahad), who took part in the Tel Aviv festivities, said during his speech “It is my democratic right to express my protest here against the government’s failed drug policy.” No smoking, today “To solve the issue of drugs, a distinction must be made between light and hard drugs, and most efforts must be exerted to deal with the problem’s root - drug trafficking and hard drug users,” he said. Bronfman told Ynet he was apprehensive about appearing at the Marijuana Day events. “It is risky to hold such an opinion in Israel,” he said. “Knesset Member Yehiel Hazan (Likud) said that in light of my participation (in the event) I should be suspended from the Knesset’s Anti-Drug Abuse Committee.” The events organizers asked the participants not to smoke drugs during the celebration. “Do not smoke here. This day is not intended for that,” organizer Eran Vered told the crowd. “We have 364 days a year to do it, so please, not today.” 
 Vered told Ynet the number of participants in the day’s events was much lower than anticipated due to police scare-tactics. “People said they do not want to arrive for fear they would eventually be arrested,” he said. Efrat Weiss contributed to this article.,2506,L-3082470,00.html
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 12:21:33 PT

Check Out This Picture
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 12:06:11 PT

News from South Africa!
Cape Town March Highlights Benefits of CannabisMay 07, 2005A group of about fifty people marched in Cape Town today, joining 180 groups in cities around the world to highlight the advantageous uses of the cannabis plant. A memorandum was handed over to the city's department of housing. The memorandum claims that bricks used from the plant could be used to build fire-proof and cost- effective housing units. Andre du Plessis, spokesperson for the group, says they are aware of the anti-social stigma attached to cannabis. However, he says the objective of the march is to highlight the use of industrial cannabis and point out to the ministry of housing that there is an alternative solution to the housing problems in the Western Cape.,2172,103812,00.html

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Comment #2 posted by westnyc on May 07, 2005 at 12:04:01 PT

What about terrorists?
Hopefully an extremist group doesn't decide to send a suicide bomber or else we'll have to listen to Walters say "these people got high and under the influence of marijuana decided to kill a thousand drug abusers!" "If these terrorists hadn't chosen to get high they never would have done this!"
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 07, 2005 at 11:55:23 PT

Go Israel!
Cannabis is truly universal!
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