Author: Jordan Greer
Smokey Monkey, based in Tira, has just defied the odds. It has become the first medical cannabis cafe in Israel. This is a place where people can legally buy and use medical cannabis.
Its owner, Kama Shbeeta, a former psychiatric nurse, is on a mission to change the stigma associated with cannabis use. In founding the cafe, he hoped to become an alternative to the black market for those who need help in treating their chronic pain and to help patients consume the drug more safely.
At first, Shbeeta received death and arson threats from people who wanted to burn his establishment to the ground. However, gradually, the neighbors began to understand what he was doing. Now people with medical cannabis licenses can come together in a safe place and experiment with different types of cannabis in an establishment which is already advertising itself as a place where Palestinians and Israelis can heal together.