"Unfortunately, dexanabinol is a synthetic derivative," he said. "It has none of the psychological effects of cannabisit doesn't make you happy or give you a high."
Despite all the hoopla, Israel is relatively well prepared for most of the chemical or biological warfare agents that Saddam might use in retaliation for an American attack. Atropine syringes for use against nerve gas are standard stock in most Israeli bomb shelters. And Israeli hospitals have enough smallpox vaccine on hand to inoculate the entire population, including tourists and foreign workers, within a few days.
Unfortunately, medical facilities in neighboring countries, including the Palestinian Authority, can be termed inadequate at best, and hygienic conditions are poor. There is, therefore, a real danger of any epidemic becoming pandemic throughout the Middle East.
According to the usually reliable DEBKAfile, Jordan has deployed troops along its borders with Israel and the West Bank to prevent Palestinians, who might flee the contamination of an Iraqi biological attack on Israel, from carrying the infection into Jordan.
In the best-case scenario, the gusty winds we get in this area in January and February might just blow all the disease microbes straight back into Iraqsort of a giant germ boomerang. But you have to be stoned to believe in miracles.