Settlers Urged to Smoke Pot During Gaza Evacuation
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
June 27, 2005
Gush Katif, Gaza Strip (CNSNews.com) - Activists of all stripes are flocking to the Gaza Strip, some to lobby for pet causes, while others dig in to resist the Israeli government's disengagement plan.
In a sideshow outside an abandoned hotel in Gush Katif on Sunday, activists from the Green Leaf Party urged Jewish settlers to use cannabis during the evacuation of the Gaza Strip, scheduled to begin in August.
The Green Leaf Party, which won 1.2 percent of the vote in the last national elections (not enough for admittance to the Knesset) is promoting the legalization of marijuana.
Members of the Green Leaf Party said in a statement that they were visiting the settlements in Gaza to "present a proposal to reduce violence and friction" during the disengagement.
Their proposal was based on the claim that "medicinal use of prohibited drugs is common to fight severe pain and lethal threats." Morphine is a derivative of heroine; atropine (a nerve gas antidote) comes from an illegal, toxic hallucinogenic and cannabis is safer than aspirin, they argued.
"It is therefore our strong belief that the legal adviser to the government...should issue a temporary order and instruct the police not to enforce the prohibition of personal consumption of cannabis among the settlers during the disagreement period in order to help avert violent behavior among adults," party chairman Boaz Wachtel said in a statement handed out at the site.
Wachtel said that the use of cannabis is high among settlers aged 18-30. But there was no way of confirming his comments.
One man living at the hotel screamed at activists that the settlers aren't drug addicts and didn't want to be aligned with marijuana smokers.
He shoved a Green Leaf activist who had a marijuana leaf insignia on his T-shirt. Police broke up the shoving match before it could escalate.
Later, the cannabis activists blocked the road in Gush Katif as a "reprisal" for being kicked out of the hotel area.
"We blocked the traffic for a number of minutes so they would feel [what it is like]," said Wachtel later in a telephone interview in regards to the anti-disengagement activity of blocking roads as a form of civil disobedience.