Out on a high note

Man downs bottle of cannabis oil in Knesset, is booted out

Visitor to parliament tells committee he suffers from PTSD and wants to prove that medical marijuana is safer than pills

A man was ejected from a Knesset committee meeting Monday after drinking a bottle of cannabis oil to make a point about medical marijuana, which he sought to have legalized.

The meeting of the Knesset Health Committee was brought to a sudden end when the man, who was briefing lawmakers on the effects of the drug, suddenly stood up, recited a blessing and swallowed an entire bottle of what he said was Avidekel cannabis oil to show that it was harmless.

He explained that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to his army service, and told lawmakers that if they didn’t legalize cannabis completely they were all “murderers.”

The man, who was said to be in his twenties, was immediately surrounded by Knesset security guards who attempted to restrain him, but he managed to swallow a second bottle of the oil before jumping over the table to evade capture.

The meeting was adjourned following the incident. The man was not named.

Avidekel, a strain of marijuana developed by Israel’s Tikun Olam company, was described by Rolling Stone magazine as “the most potent type of medical marijuana,” because it contains a lot of CBD and almost no THC, so users do not feel stoned after using it.

Among Western countries, Israel already has one of the highest per capita rates of legal marijuana use, with over 21,000 people medically licensed to use the drug.

Israel is well-known as a pioneer in medical cannabis. Two years ago, the government approved a plan initiated by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to relax some of the medical cannabis requirements. That plan aimed to expand the number of doctors who can prescribe cannabis to patients, remove limits on the number of marijuana growers, make cannabis available at approved pharmacies, and possibly eliminate the requirement for a Health Ministry permit so that just a doctor’s prescription will be sufficient.

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