Shalom Life | January 17, 2015

This Israeli Political Party is Offering Weed in Exchange for Campaign Donations

The Aleh Yarok (Green Leaf) party made over NIS 100,000 (US $25,000) in donations this week alone

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 13th, 2015 in News » Israel

Well here's a good way to to solicit campaign donations.

Israel's Aleh Yarok (Green Leaf) party has been running a new campaign that offers legalized marijuana (in the future) in exchange for campaign donations (in the present).

While they're certainly an underdog coming into the Israeli elections in March, they managed to raise NIS 100,000 (roughly US $25,000) this week alone.

The campaign was launched last Saturday in a YouTube video, promising potential donors around the country a certain quantity of marijuana depending on their donation amount, once it becomes legalized...you know, whenever that happens.

Last week, Aleh Yarok started a fundraising campaign on Headstart Web, offering various options for donors. For marijuana enthusiasts, it's actually quite organized. There's a scale on the official website which shows the amount of marijuana you'd receive - again, once it's legalized - in exchange for your donation dollars. A donation of 50 shekel would provide you with a savings bond worth a single gram of marijuana, which is significantly cheaper than what potheads pay on the street in Israel (NIS 80 - 100).

By Wednesday, all 56 spots available for the donation had already been purchased.

Then you have your larger donations like the 420 shekel (hint, hint) donation, which will get you five grams of marijuana, an Aleh Yarok T-shirt, and even a lighter. For the big-time weed enthusiasts willing to dish out NIS 10,000 ($2,500) they'll get the chance to "open a coffee shop" once Israel will host coffee shops like they have in the Netherlands.

Thus far, there's been one donation at the coffeeshop level (people can dream, right?) and twenty at the NIS 420 level. The party's also announced its fundraising goal of NIS 300,000 to fund a billboard campaign run across the nation.

“We’ve done all of this with no budget, imagine what we could do with a party budget and five parliamentarians? We are a half a million cannabis smokers in Israel; it’s enough that only a quarter of us vote Aleh Yarok and change will be here,” said Aleh Yarok party head Oren Leibovitz in a new video advocating for legalized marijuana. Leibovitz is also the founder of online magazine Cannabis.

Aleh Yarok hasn't been able to make it into the Knesset the past five elections running. But with the chance of free weed, who knows how many people may sign up?

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