The use of Medical Marijuana in Israel has been technically legal since 1999. But in a country known for its bureaucratic labyrinths and where much of the populace seems to have formed its understanding of Marijuana from repeated viewings of Reefer Madness, how does “technically legal” play itself out? However, with the negative, imagine of marijuana means that even with its legalization there are still people who still believe that it still a legal drug. This means there are some who try to find low smelling strains to keep their discretion, with some places like Green Bud Guru having a list of some of the best low smell strains to help marijuana users to enjoy their pastime discreetly.
The United States and Canada have made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, allowing citizens to use CBD oil in vape carts to treat a number of ailments, which as inflammations, anxiety etc. Marijuana users are always allowed, while in the strict containment of the law, to grow their own plants for personal use, creating a new enterprise within the United States and Canada in the form of growing tools for marijuana farms such as growing tents, inline fans for cannabis and lights as well as other products.

Haaretz Correspondent, Haim Shadmi, has written a great, in depth article about the confusing situation faced by patients who use Medical Marijuana to treat a host of ailments from Tourettes’ Syndrome to Cancer. It has a great cast of characters including the one Doctor in Israel authorized to prescribe Marijuana, the former pill popping raver authorized by the Ministry of Health to grow Medical Marijuana, Yossi Bozaglo, one of the first patients to be prescribed marijuana, who was tried in 2001 for buying marijuana from a drug dealer (!), a guy called “Angel face” who provides marijuana to patients for free and the Doctors of course:

When Cannabis was approved for medicinal purposes in 1999, it was originally intended for terminal cancer and AIDS patients. Today it is being used in earlier stages of illness and for a wider array of diseases, including Parkinson’s, Tourette Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain and shell shock. The medical establishment is also increasingly recognizing Cannabis’ effectiveness in treating illness.

At the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplantation department, patients including children and babies are treated using drops of oil derived from Cannabis. “It has no side effects and is largely effective in treating patients,” said department chief, Professor Reuven Or. “I would say it is effective in 80 percent of patients, which is a lot.”

Professor Or continued, “It stimulates the appetite and minimizes nausea and vomiting, which is of great importance in Oncology. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in cases of infection or inflammation caused by radiation. Along with this, Cannabis eases the coping process for patients – it improves their morale and lowers depression, and these are important parameters for patients battling disease.”

Half of the patients being treated with Cannabis are Oncology patients, while about a quarter suffer from chronic pain.

But Medical Marijuana, while legal and effective and used by about 2000 patients, is not covered by Israel’s HMOs. Angel face provides it for free but the current situation is not tenable. The Health Ministry is planning on opening 5-6 new grow houses, but in the meantime “grass” roots organizations are providing patients with the weed they need. The article discusses the potential profits that operators of these grow houses might make and is a fascinating look at how things in Israe work despite everything.

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

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