The global market for medical marijuana is growing steadily, and Israel has already become a leader in scientific research. On April 20, an employee of the Tel Aviv office of the international Internet company, Yoni B., went straight from work in the morning, but to the Knesset building, so that he and a few mates could smoke a cigarette there. Recently, marijuana Yoni smokes regularly: the doctor prescribed - for insomnia. He usually does it, however, less demonstratively.
But on the International Day of Marijuana, Yoni is involved in a protest. Gathered people believe that Israel should allow cannabis not only for medical purposes.
Medical marijuana in the country has been legalized since the early 1990s — then the first experiments in separate hospitals began. Officially, they began to use it in 1996, which makes the local cannabis medical program one of the oldest in the world.
But the first step was taken back in the 1960s by the Israeli chemist Rafael Meshulam, who was able to isolate cannabinoid THC - one of the active substances of this plant. Then he and his colleagues identified three more cannabinoids and studied in detail their effects.
Before the full legalization of cannabis in this country, now there is not much time left. Now for the use of non-prescription citizens may face a fine - but last year, according to official statistics, a little more than three thousand of such fines were issued, half of the cases of using marijuana without a prescription were closed.
According to the UN, 27% of the population of Israel use cannabis. This is the second place in the world, ahead of only Papua New Guinea with 30% of the population.
Thanks to the work of Meshulam, Israel has become a pioneer in the use of cannabis for the treatment of various diseases and pain relief.
Two and a half years ago Aviha Tamir fell out of life for several days every month: he suffered from severe migraines, and sometimes his head ached so that he simply could not work. “No painkillers that the doctor prescribed for me did not help, and I missed a few days at work every month because of the pain,” he recalls.
This continued until the doctor suggested he try cannabis as a medicine for migraine.