The border fence along the Israel-Egypt border hasn’t only kept out terrorists: it’s kept out marijuana smugglers as well. Israeli officials estimate that nowadays several hundred pounds of marijuana are kept from crossing into the country each year. To make up for the shortfall farmers in southern Israel have taken to illegally growing their own pot plants, according to a report from Israel’s Channel 2.
One law enforcement official in the region told the news channel that the business is ” very, very lucrative” and that many of the farmers cultivating marijuana don’t think the police will bother to come find them because of their remote locations. The law enforcement official said, however, that a crackdown has begun and that offenders will be dealt with seriously.
As for the farmers, many of them say that it’s just too difficult to subsist on selling what crops they cultivate, mostly tomatoes and peppers, and that profits from sales of marijuana are necessary to secure a relatively comfortable lifestyle.
Israel isn’t necessarily looking to purge the country of cannabis however. With around 10,000 permitted users, the country is considered one of the most advanced in the world with regards to the use of medical marijuana.
Watch the Channel 2 report below (Hebrew only):