Israeli election rival drops bid to join Netanyahu with pot proposal

Marijuana plant. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Jennifer Martin

Aug. 31 (UPI) — Zehut Party leader and marijuana advocate Mosche Feiglin has reached an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to promote legal cannabis imports to treat medical conditions.

Feiglin was a candidate in the Sept. 17 snap elections, which are being held to facilitate a coalition government, but will drop out and run with Netanyahu in light of the new deal, Haaretz reported Friday.

Feiglin, who is linking his Zehut faction to Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said legalizing marijuana for medical use would be a “life-saving revolution” for Israel. A bill will be proposed in the first session of the Knesset, Ynet News reported. The distribution of medical pot would be handled by pharmacies.

As part of the deal, Feiglin is expected to be given a prominent cabinet post if next month’s vote leads to a coalition government. Failure to assemble such an alliance was what prompted Netanyahu to order the snap elections.

Netanyahu said he and Feiglin have the same values of a liberal, competitive economy and reduced government regulation.

“We are embarking on a joint path to promote the values of personal freedom and free economy,” Netanyahu said. “The root of the proposal which Mosche presented me, and  which i absolutely agree with is open the [medical marijuana] market for import.”

“I see you as a minister in my government, these are not just words. I really mean it,” he told Feiglin, an ultra-nationalist libertarian who could be in line for minister of economics or social welfare.

Some members of the Zehut, a party formed by Feiglin specifically to legalize marijuana, have said he should have demanded Netanyahu legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

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