Israeli cannabis activists have mounted their legal challenge to a police ban on a Marijuana Day rally, an annual event in which people publicly smoke the herb to protest its illegal status.
The Israel Police notified the activists that any such rally in Tel Aviv, Israel’s capital city, would not be tolerated, reports Yaakov Lappin at the Jerusalem Post.
Law enforcement refused to authorize the event, claiming it constitutes a “blatant violation” of the law.
The activists, represented by a group called Dor Emet (Truth Generation), placed a High Court appeal against the ban.
The High Court has asked the police to explain their decision within two weeks before it comes to a final decision on the case, according to a Tuesday statement from Dor Emet.
|Israeli cannabis activists smoke marijuana on Marijuana Day in Tel Aviv, May 8, 2010
The appeal is based on “freedom of expression” and is aimed to protect an event which presents “no danger to public order,” according to lead attorney Dekel David Ozer.
Many scientific studies show that smoking cannabis not only doesn’t harm health, but that, compared to legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, it often acts as a healing agent, according to Ozer.
Ozer said Dor Emet’s challenge of the ban is also targeting the criminalization of “Israelis who use cannabis, or to be more accurate, the unrestrained pursuit of an entire public which is quiet and law abiding.”
This year’s Global Marijuana March
is scheduled for Saturday, May 5; at least 133 cities worldwide have signed up so far.