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Israel:30 people detained for questioning at TA 'MMM'

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Cannabis Sacrament Minister.
Cannabis Sacrament Minister.

Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Posts: 2550
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 10:27 am    Post subject: Israel:30 people detained for questioning at TA 'MMM' Reply with quote

3 press articles below.

Photo from the Jerusalem Post article:

An undercover policeman dons a uniform cap to remonstrate a
Marijuana Day celebrant.
Photo: Harry Rubinstein

Photo from the Haaretz article:

Minister of Public Security, Tzachi Hanegbi, called on by a
drug abuse prevention organization to ban 'Marijuana Day'
festivities in a Tel Aviv park. (Archive)


Maariv International. (2004-05-08 22:01:20.0)

Police move in on "Marijuana Day" event

About 30 participants arrested. Event organizer: we won't
stop fight for legalization of soft drugs. Gil Horev

The Police disrupted the mass picnic held at the Yarkon Park
on the occasion of International Marijuana Day today
(Saturday). This is the first time the police interrupt the
event in its seven-year history. The police confiscated the
sound equipment and delayed one of the event's organizers,
Boaz Wachtel, for questioning.

The police reported that about 30 participants were caught
in possession of drugs. Large quantities of drugs were
reportedly seized, including a chocolate cake filled with
Marijuana. "Following the seizure of drugs, it was decided
to shift from covert to overt activity and put a stop to
criminal offences at the scene", said the police.

MK Roman Bronfman who arrived at the scene attempted to
convince police officers to let the event continue. "It is a
mistake to end the entire event because of a few smokers",
he said.

Bronfman also said he believed the event was disrupted in
order to prevent him from talking in favor of the
legalization of soft drugs. "The police is attempting to
prevent an MK from expressing his opinion in a legitimate
manner", he told reporters

Following his arrest, Boaz Wachtel said: "I am not sure what
I'm being arrested for. We will not stop the fight for the
legalization of soft drugs and a clear distinction between
them and hard drugs".

Archive photo.

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at the picnic, israel(2004-05-09 01:48:40.467 EST)
As a person living in Israel and all the problems we have, I
was at the picnic and everyone was doing their own thing,
not causing any problems, when the police arrested people
and then took away the sound equipment. If you would have
been there you would have seen the biggest waste of Israeli
manpower. It looked as if the entire bomb squad and police
department were there. It was completely uncalled for and I
am ashamed to be an Israeli when things like this happen!!!!

3. sad day in israel
heyzuez, toronto(2004-05-09 01:44:40.903 EST)
it's too bad Israel has fallen to the fear of pot use . come
on ,Isreal had some great hash back in 70's and 80's and
just when people needed to chill and get high, they are
clamping down on a harmless plant . anyways, as far as i
remember, the last and only time i was in isreal,i seem to
recall that a lot of people smoked dope in some form or and

2. Shameful
Herb Finegold, Singapore(2004-05-08 23:37:00.857 EST)
It is disgusting and shameful that in a society where
organised crime is rampant and white slavery is pandemic,
police have nothing better to do than busting people who
want to get high on a natural herb used throughout human
history and with less toxicity than nicotine, alcohol or
even caffeine. Come on, Israel! Chill out and get a life!

1. mary jane day
pot head, israel(2004-05-08 17:01:04.153 EST)
you'd think the police would have better things to do than
bust up that picnic.too bad mabey next year they will have
more sechel.

-----end of article and comments so far.------


Haaretz - Israel News. Last Update: 08/05/2004 18:41.

30 people detained for questioning at TA 'Marijuana Day'

By Yuval Yoaz, Tsahar Rotem, and Roni Singer, Haaretz

Undercover police officers detained for questioning thirty
individuals, three of them minors, who attended the
"Marijuana Day" event in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

According to police, the individuals were detained for
alleged drug use in Park Hayarkon, where the event was
taking place. Among those detained for questioning was Boaz
Verchtel, founder of Ale Yarok (Green Leaf Party).

Police officers arrived at the event, where some 2,000
people in attendance marked International Marijuana Day,
turned off the music, confiscated equipment, and ordered
that the event be halted.

Health Minister Danny Naveh (Likud) and MK Roman Bronfman
(Yahad), who were to have addressed those in attendance will
not speak, as police shut down the stage.

Event organizers plan to convene a press conference during
which they will respond to the actions of the police.

Yarkon District commander Aharon Ezra, who was present at
the event, said that the event was brought to a halt
because, "The party had become a drug party." According to
Ezra, some eighty police officers had been present at the
part since the morning hours.

Bronfman said that the High Court had rejected a petition by
Al-Sam, a drug abuse prevention organization, seeking to
cancel the program, and that shutting down the stage at the
event equated to speech restriction, and was done so as to
prevent him from addressing those in attendance.

Bronfman noted that he had planned to discuss the adverse
affects of drug use and his opposition to the use of druge,
although he also intended to criticize the state for its
policy that does not differentiate between soft and hard
druge. Bronfman also said that this is the seventh year in
which "Marijuana Day" event has been held, and the first
time it has been halted.

Naveh planned to speak against the use of any type of drug,
and explain the dangers entailed in drug usage.

Al-Sam had demanded that police prevent the celebrations of
"Marijuana Day," claiming the event will disrupt public
order and will lead to drug abuse, while legitimizing the
abuse of dangerous, illegal drugs."

Al-Sam demanded that the Minister of Public Security, Tzachi
Hanegbi, order the police to limit entry to the event for
people over the age of 18. In the petition they also asked
that the event be fenced in order to enable police to track
the identity of all who enter, and for sniff dogs to be used
to prevent anyone from introducing narcotics onto the event
grounds. The group demanded that police shut down the event
in case any drug offenses are sighted by police.

Justices Yaacov Turkel, Eliahu Mazza and Asher Gronis said
in their decision that Al-Sam knew of the event in advance
and had sufficient time to petition the court, yet did so
only 48 hours prior to the event. The justices added that
they assume that the police will operate in a manner which
will uphold law and order.

---end of article---


Jerusalem Post. Updated May. 9, 2004 0:22

Police snuff out "Marijuana Day" in Tel Aviv


[photo caption]
An undercover policeman dons a uniform cap to remonstrate a
Marijuana Day celebrant.
Photo: Harry Rubinstein

Uniformed and undercover police officers on Saturday shut
down the International Marijuana Day event at HaYarkon Park
in Tel Aviv after detaining 30 participants, including three
minors, for suspected use and possession of marijuana.

Boaz Wachtel, an organizer of the event and head of the
"Green Leaf" political party was among those detained for

At approximately 3:45 p.m., about four hours after the event
began, police swarmed upon the sound system and shut it off
as partygoers were dancing to Peter Tosh's reggae classic
"Legalize It." A large crowd gathered around the police,
with many shouting "Police state" and "Fascists."

Although tensions were high, except for a few shoves,
violence was averted. A police photographer and videographer
were on hand keeping their cameras focused on the more vocal

"I came to the conclusion that this was a drug party and
violation of the law won't be tolerated. After thirty people
were arrested for using drugs, it was decided to close down
the event," said Brigadier General Aaron Ezra of the Tel
Aviv police.

The event, which has been held without disruption for the
past six years, had a substantial higher profile this year
due to the first time participation of a member of the
Knesset. But police shut down the event just 15 minutes
before MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz) was scheduled to deliver a

"From my standpoint, today's event is legal, after the high
court rejected a petition (to ban the event) and after the
city of Tel Aviv gave authorization for the event to be
held," Bronfman told reporters at the event. "I think the
police were the ones who disturbed the peace.

The police knew I was supposed to speak at 4:00 p.m., and I
interpret what happened here now as a suppression of free
speech and not allowing a Knesset member to express his
opinion." Bronfman said that the police told him the event
was shut down due to instances of drug use, but the MK
emphasized that rather than ending the event the police
should have arrested only those who were using drugs.

According to a copy of the Bronfman's undelivered speech
received by the Jerusalem Post, the MK intended to say that
although he does not support drug use, he believes the
current "scare campaign" is a total failure. Bronfman was to
announce his intention to introduce two related laws in the

One would allow persons with various illnesses whose
symptoms can be alleviated by marijuana to obtain a
prescription for medicinal marijuana directly from a doctor,
whereas currently they must go to the director general of
the health ministry or via a special panel.

The second law would decriminalize use of marijuana and

Approximately an hour before the event was shut down, one
speaker issued a warning to attendees that undercover police
forces were looking to arrest people for smoking cannabis
and urged the crowd to drink beer instead, even though he
claimed alcohol causes poses a greater health risk.

"This happens at every party," said a 24-year-old Ramat Gan
resident who identified himself as Dekel.

"The police see people enjoying themselves and think this
represents all the problems in the state, so they try to
stop the enjoyment of all the people here who are trying to
show that this is a progressive country and not a country
like Iran."

Eran Vered, an organizer of the event said, "We tried to
organize a protest event . as is allowed in a democratic
state. The police apparently decided that this wasn't to
their liking, so in a cruel and brutal manner they closed
the picnic.

The police arrested maybe one, two, or ten people smoking an
illegal substance - grass - and apparently they decided that
this picnic had the potential for drug use and closed it
down completely. Apparently they felt that the participation
of a member of Knesset was not good for them."

Rehavia Berman, from Legalize it - Israel and a former
spokesman of the Green Leaf party, said, "Health Minister
Danny Naveh was supposed to speak, but instead speaking like
a man and receiving boos or silence from the crowd, he
arranged in advance for there to be no reason for him to
come." But maybe Naveh wasn't the one responsible, he added.

"Every Saturday at every soccer stadium police find flares
and weapons that can kill people, and they don't shut down
the game. They take the people who have these banned items
and arrest them. That's the law! To shut down the event,
isn't the law. There are legal decisions on this. Police are
simply ignoring these rulings and doing what's convenient
for them.

Because of tomorrow if we win a legal ruling that says what
they did isn't right, it doesn't matter because they already
shut down the event," Berman said.

Although some participants at the event expressing political
agendas and circulating petitions, the vast majority of the
crowd appeared to be basking in the afternoon sun, playing
Frisbee and dancing to the music. It was only when the
police shut down the event that it became overtly

----end of article----


MMM reports, media articles, archives, and links to more: Archive. Several years. 2004 reports archive. Links to other archives. Google News shortcuts. 2004 city list. Links lead to reports. Reports forum. Images archive and links.

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1994-2000 Governor George W. Bush legacy: 4.7% of Texas adults
are NOW in jail, in prison, on probation, or on parole! Texas leads the world!
Republicrat USA: Nearly half a million people are behind bars NOW
for non-violent drug law violations. More than Western Europe,
with a larger population, incarcerates for everything! Please forward.

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Cannabis Sacrament Minister.
Cannabis Sacrament Minister.

Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Posts: 2550
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Green Leaf Party, Israel wrote:
The Tel Aviv police busted the 7th annual Marijuana Liberation Picnic, attended by over 3000 people and arrested 32 people for smoking jpints and for organizing the event. Boaz Wachtel, chairman of the green leaf party was arrested with other activists. All were released after few hours of investigation at a police station. It is not clear yet if charges will be filed. Wachtel was charged with "organizing a drug party and with running a business without a license". A few people were arrested while signing a petition for medical cannabis, among them a krone's desease patiant who was held for 5 hours at a police station.One activist, the elected head of the green leaf party chapter at Hebrew University was beaten at the police station.
This is the first time that the police closed the picnic. A few days before, a petition to prevent the picnic was filed in the supreme court by a prohibitionist organization. The supreme court rejected the petition on the grounds that it was filed too late, and added that the police will do what necessary to maintain law and order.
We have received a huge media attention due to the supreme court petition and the closing of the picnic.The green Leaf party ofcourse will continue to fight for civil liberties and the abolition of the cannabis laws and for the implementation of harm reduction policies in Israel.

The Green Leaf Party,

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