Even in this age of cannabis legalization, it remains illegal in Israel, as in New Jersey, to grow marijuana without a license.
But that allegedly didn’t stop an entrepreneurial thirtysomething couple in the charedi town of Kiryat Ye’arim just west of Jerusalem. On Tuesday, they were busted by Israel police, who raided a building they owned in town. Two apartments in the building had been converted into a marijuana nursery.
Police confiscated more than 500 plants as they arrested the couple, along with a resident of Bnei Brak in his 20s.
Kiryat Ye’arim is commonly known as Telz Stone; it was founded by former students of the Telz Yeshiva outside Cleveland, and funded in large measure by Cleveland philanthropist Irving Stone.
Even though Israel has a legal medical marijuana market, and the country is a world leader in that field, standard police practice is to destroy contraband.
Which raises a halachic question: What happens when the principle of bal taschis — don’t wantonly destroy or waste — conflicts with bal hashish — don’t smoke dope?