Lay Off the Bongs—and the Bong Users


In response to a bill that would impose a penalty of up to five years in prison for selling bongs and up to three years for possessing them, Israeli Deputy Public Defense Attorney Hagit Larnau this week slammed not only the proposed paraphernalia law but the government's general treatment of cannabis users. (Bongs currently are sold openly in Israel, but this ban is substantially harsher than state and federal paraphernalia laws in the U.S.) Echoing the Nixon-appointed National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Larnau told a Knesset committee that drug law enforcement aimed at pot smokers causes more harm than the drug use it's supposed to prevent. "The 'enforcement paradox' is that much greater when the issue in question is the use of drugs which cause relatively little harm to users and the nature of which is infrequent and, for the most part, ends with the beginning of serious employment and a person's domestication," she said. "[It's] the social effect and not the drug use itself which ends up harming individuals. It harms their ability to evolve professionally and economically and become normally integrated in society."

[via the Drug War Chronicle]