Israel: Tel Aviv Relents, Will Allow Marijuana Rally

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Photo: Ofer Amram
Marijuana protest in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, Israel

‚ÄčFollowing widely publicized reports on Tel Aviv’s refusal to allow a rally for the legalization of marijuana, the Israeli city on Sunday relented, announcing that after “reexamining the situation,” it has decided there are no grounds to forbid the rally, pending police approval.

Earlier Sunday, it appeared that the city of Tel Aviv was going to block the rally, reports Yoav Zitun of Ynet.
“I hereby inform you that your request to hold a rally for the legalization of cannabis has been rejected,” read a letter from Tel Aviv Municipality official Ruby Zelof to Liora Gelber, who is trying to organize the rally in Rabin Square.

The police did not give us any trouble, but the municipality said it would cost us NIS 16,600 [about $4,300]to hold the rally at Rabin Square,” Gelber said.
“We began to raise the money, and various artists confirmed their participation,” Gelber said. “The notice we received today infuriated us.”
“The municipality did not even give us a reason for why it is not authorizing the rally,” Gelber said. “We live in a democratic country and we have the right to protest.”
“All mass events in public places in the the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo require permits from the city and the police,” the municipality said in response to a Ynet appeal.
“The matter was reexamined by the city’s legal advisor, who ruled that there are no grounds to forbid the gathering/protest aimed at changing the existing law on the use of cannabis.”
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