Cannabis Decriminalization Underway in Israel

Israel has been in the news a lot for its innovations in the cannabis industry. And now that the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is ready to approve the bill to decriminalize cannabis for Israeli consumers, it’s safe to say Israel will continue with its cannabis research.

The bill, submitted by Likud MK Sharren Haskel, will decriminalize cannabis use for Israeli consumers.

Haskel is quoted as saying, “This is big news in the fight for over a million citizens and tens of thousands of patients waiting for the day the State of Israel ceases to treat them as criminals.”

Two separate bills were put before the committee in an effort to legalize cannabis. The other bill was submitted by Blue and White MK Ram Shefa. Both bills had been postponed the previous week, partly because of opposition initiated by the Community Development Minister, Orly Levy-Abecassis (Gesher).

However, Levy-Abecassis agreed to allow the bills to go through with the condition that her ministry would coordinate the bills during the legislative process.

The bills highlight that the use of cannabis will be allowed for Israelis aged 21 years or older, with the exception of people working in security positions. Furthermore, driving while using cannabis is still prohibited, and there will be an advocacy fund put in place to prevent addictions and educate people in schools regarding the dangers of cannabis use. The same advertising restriction guidelines for tobacco will apply to cannabis products, as well.

If this bill passes, Israel will become one step closer to establishing cannabis retail outlets. But even with the bill getting this far already, it will have to pass three readings in the Knesset plenum, along with discussions within the relevant committee to become law.

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