By BEN HARTMAN
Medical marijuana patients protest police raid of “Tikkun Olam” storefront at demonstration in Tel Aviv.
The protest came four days after police raided a storefront on Ibn Gvirol run by “Tikkun Olam”, where patients would come to get their doses. During the raid, police arrested two managers of the storefront and held them for questioning for several hours, on suspicion of drug trafficking.
Shai Meir, spokesman for Tikkun Olam, Israel’s largest medical marijuana supplier, told reporters at the organization’s headquarters in an apartment in north Tel Aviv that police actions against the clinic and its patients mainly harms those seeking medical treatment.
“The bottom line is that the only ones who have suffered as a result of these police actions are the patients. Every arrest, every detention of a patient disrupts their treatment, treatment which demands routine. This causes serious harm to the patients.”
One patient who took part in the protest, Yedidya Kanuf, sat inside the apartment in a wheelchair hooked up to a life support system, where he has been confined since a car accident ten years earlier left him paralyzed from the neck down.
His breathing labored, Kanuf described the cannabis he receives for his pain as nothing short of a lifesaver.
“Before I was on medical marijuana, I was being treated for pain with all types of very strong drugs. I never got out of bed, never saw the sun. Once I started taking prescription cannabis the amount of drugs I took plummeted. When people call it a drug I get annoyed because for me it has given me life,” Kanuf said.