Report: Trump Tells Israeli PM To Halt His Country’s Marijuana Exports

Trump tells Netanyahu that Israel must not export marijuana. (File images via Reuters)
Trump tells Netanyahu that Israel must not export marijuana. (File images via Reuters)

In a new twist in the complicated world of international relations, Israeli media reported that U.S. President Donald Trump called his close ally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the Jewish state’s plans to export marijuana.

Israeli farmers and potpreneurs were highly anticipating their country’s marijuana exports. The green industry is expected to make between $1 billion and $4 billion (US) a year in profits. 

The Jerusalem Post cited a report from the Israeli Channel 2 News, which said on Wednesday that Israel will let go of its plans to become a main medical marijuana exporter because of Trump. 

The news channel said Netanyahu had a meeting with the agriculture, health and finance ministers on Sunday, telling them that the marijuana export plans will be on hold.

Netanyahu made it clear that he made the U-turn decision following a call from Trump, making it explicit that the U.S. doesn’t want any Israeli marijuana exports to go through, the report said.

the two - Report: Trump Tells Israeli PM To Halt His Country's Marijuana Exports
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump’s address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. (File image via Reuters)

Trump’s Sessions

In February last year, Trump appointed the anti-marijuana hardliner Jeff Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General.

Sessions, who has long dubbed marijuana as a “gateway drug,” rescinded an Obama-era policy, which allowed U.S. states to freely operate their already legalized marijuana businesses.

Sessions annulled the policy despite giving assurances to politicians like the Rep. Senator of Colorado Cory Gardner that he will not make any changes. Instead, Cory accused Sessions of lying after the latter increased the federal clampdown on legal marijuana.

Nine U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana while 29 other states have permitted medical marijuana amid a trend of growing support to legalize cannabis, even among Republicans.

The city of San Antonio in Texas is planning a “Free the Weed in Texas” rally on Saturday as an example of the ever-ballooning trend.

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A worker carries sacks of newly harvested cannabis plants at a plantation near Nazareth, Israel. (File image via Reuters)

Frustrated Israeli Weed Farmers

Around mid-January, The Puff Puff Post published a report describing how Israeli marijuana growers felt confused and frustrated that their cannabis produce might be left unused and ready to rot amid bureaucratic blocks and ministerial infighting.

Their frustration comes after industry employees said the Israeli government told medical marijuana companies that their exports would be approved by 2018. Also, the Israeli cabinet gave its green light that it would approve exports of medicinal cannabis during the 2019 state budget vote.

In addition to that, an interministerial committee of the Israeli Finance and Health Ministries approved the export of medical cannabis as far as August 2017.

But who would have guessed that a U.S. president’s stance on marijuana is not only violating the freedoms of U.S. states but stifling efforts of other sovereign nations like Israel? 

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