Last week, Israel’s cabinet approved a proposed measure to decriminalize recreational use of cannabis, allowing it to go to a vote in the country’s parliament, the Knesset.
If it passes there, as is expected, first-time cannabis offenders will face a fine of 1,000 shekels ($270), but criminal charges will only be brought on a fourth offense. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who led the reform effort, said that “the government’s approval is an important step on the way to implement the new policy, which will emphasize public information and treatment instead of criminal enforcement.”
Lawmaker Tamar Zandberg of the center-left Meretz party, chair of the Knesset Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said: “This is an important step, but not the end of the road. It sends a message that a million of Israelis who consume marijuana aren’t criminals. We will carry on following the details in the committee and ensure that the change is implemented.”
The measure was based on the recommendations of a committee headed by Public Security Ministry director-general Rotem Peleg, calling for a shift of focus from criminal prosecution of cannabis users to fines and educational campaigns.
“Israel cannot shut its eyes to the changes being made across the world in respect to marijuana consumption and its effects,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in a statement.
Israel is already a world leader in medical marijuana, with some 25,000 registered in its national program, and cutting-edge research underway. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, almost nine percent of Israelis use cannabis, although many believe the figure to be much higher.
For now, Israel’s essentially conservative government is only going so far. Selling and growing would remain criminal offenses under the measure.
“On the one hand we are opening ourselves up to the future. On the other hand, we understand the dangers and will try to balance the two,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his remarks on the cabinet’s move.
Even some conservatives are coming around, however. MK Sharren Haskel of the right-wing Likud, chair of the Knesset Caucus for Medical Cannabis, said the measure is “not enough.” Asserting that “criminalization does not work and wastes resources,” she pledged: “I will keep fighting until we have a full-fledged legalization of cannabis.”
California Lawyers Clarify That Home Pot Deliveries are Legal State-Wide
Marijuana Legalization Bill Killed by Virginia Lawmakers
Medical Cannabis Raked in Nearly $70K in Tax Revenue in Oklahoma in December
New Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana in New Mexico Schools
Health6 days ago
Medical Marijuana Recalled From Two Michigan Dispensaries Due to Failed Lab Tests
People6 days ago
Antonio Bascaro: Father. War Hero. Longest Living Pot Prisoner
Medical Marijuana6 days ago
NJ Doctor Suspended for Recommending Medical Marijuana to Thousands of Patients
News3 days ago
Man Leaves Two Pounds of Pot in Uber, is Arrested Trying to Retrieve It
News2 days ago
Cop Caught with Child Porn Serves 90 Days in Jail; Man Selling Weed Gets 5 Year Sentence
Sponsored6 days ago
CBD vs Kratom: Which Is Best For You?
Medical Marijuana7 days ago
Tennessee Lawmakers to Introduce New, Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill
News3 days ago
St. Louis, Missouri Will No Longer Prosecute Marijuana Possession Under 100 Grams