March 17, 2015 is elections day in Israel, or, as I like to call it, our bi-annual snow day. It’s a well deserved day off from work without all the religiosity and rush on supermarkets.
A lot of people have been asking me who I plan on voting for. No, that’s a lie. Nobody has asked me who I’m voting for. Not even one of the dubious pollsters that each party and newspaper touts every day. The only unsolicited phone calls I get are cold calls trying to get me to change my mobile phone provider or worse, a recorded message from some tsadik, righteous rabbi, telling me how I could achieve true, lasting happiness
This is as good as it gets for me, I’m afraid.
This time I’m voting The Green Leaf Party. And here are ten solid reasons why you should too. Not should. MUST.
1. Bi-Partisan support. I dare you to find one issue that both “left” and “right” pols agree on. Well? I’ll just wait here. None. Nada. Zip. Well, none except for marijuana legalization. Here you’ll find supporters such as Moshe Feiglin from the hawkish end of the Likud and Tamar Zandberg from the liberal side of Meretz. If those two can find common ground on something we should all get on board.
2. Creativity. What this country needs is creative, out-of-the-box thinking as demonstrated in Green Leaf’s fundraising campaign. They offered supporters a bond, redeemable for legal marijuana, once they are elected and pass the legalization bill. They raised 160,000 NIS in a matter of days, more than even dark horse contender Moshe Cahalon. If they applied their creativity to other predicaments such as affordable housing and lowering the cost of living, we’d all benefit.
3. They are not career politicians. I don’t know about you but I find it hard to trust anyone who makes politics their day job. In Ancient Greece they used to use an Ostracon, a pottery or a jar in which people scratched the name of a politician they wanted exiled. If enough people scratched your name on a shard of clay you would be banished and never allowed to return (also the origin of the term “ostracize”). I think a few of our current Knesset lifers could use the boot, Mr. Netanyahu first followed closely by Mr. Yishai.
4. You wouldn’t be throwing your vote away. Ideologically, I find myself closest to Meretz. I love their social initiatives and what they stand for but, in the current climate in Israel, they’ll never sit in any government. Even if Herzog and the Zionist Camp get the most votes (as the latest polls show) they’ll have to include Lapid, Cahalon, Lieberman and Shas to form a coalition and Meretz will most likely be in the opposition. But most likely, what we’ll get is another unity government. Which leads to number 5 –
5. Bibi is probably going to be prime minister again. And since that’s the case and our country is going to hell in a hand basket, at least let me get stoned legally while the ship fucking sinks.
6. Who doesn’t love an underdog? I grew up on the mean streets of Philadelphia (well, Haddonfield New Jersey, but don’t tell anyone) and we boast the greatest hero of underdog lore. Rocky Balboa. In Rocky I-IV. But not V. (No one speak of Rocky V. Or VI.) But IV? Holy crap. Fighting Drago. Draping that red, white and blue. And convincing all those Ruskies that capitalism, yes capitalism, is the best way of life. So, yeah, let’s vote for an underdog. Besides, if Mr. Leibovich and gang can do what they have been doing on zero budget, think of the accomplishments they can make with some tax money. The sky is the limit.
7. Security. Internally and externally. Internally, law enforcement resources will no longer be directed towards apprehending and prosecuting pot smokers. Instead they will be directed at the real criminals. In our case, police commissioners and politicians embroiled in graft and sex scandals. Externally, Hezbollah and Hamas and other terrorist organizations will no longer be funded by smuggling hash into Israel. Can any of the major parties boast that?
8. Two Years. Most governments last two years in this country. Green Leaf will most likely sit in any coalition and their one and only plan is to set up a committee to investigate the best working model for legalization (Colorado, USA or otherwise) and implement it in Israel. That means that by the next elections we’ll have legalized Cannabis in Israel. If you think anybody can lower housing costs, reduce the cost of living or strike a peace deal with the Palestinians in that time frame, then heck, pass me whatever it is you’re smoking.
9. Integrity. Every single member of the Green leaf party is a criminal and has smoked Marijuana. The only difference is they are honest and upfront about it as opposed to every other politician in the Knesset.
10. One and Done. Unlike every other party in the Knesset, Green Leafers have set up an agenda to stop the prosecution of marijuana consumers, legalize marijuana, expunge the record of citizens who have been charged with possession or other related misdemeanors and regulate the cannabis market. Once accomplished they will dissolve the party. And that’s what true, meaningful politics should look like.
So there you have it. 10 rock solid reasons to vote Green Leaf. Full disclosure, I am not a member of Green Leaf party nor was I paid or commissioned to write this article. Although I do hope that as a token of appreciation they decide to grant me a special bond worth 1 gram of Legal marijuana if and when it is legalized.
(Or nominate me for Chief Inspector of Marijuana Quality)
I support them entirely and hope that one day we can see a positive change in this country with regards to Marijuana. I also hope we have at least one more election in the upcoming year as I am all out of vacation days from work.