The Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss a bill that seeks to decriminalize the use of small amounts of cannabis in Israel. This initiative has already won the support of several Israeli government ministries, the Knesset and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) recently.
Illustration Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90
The members of the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation will meet today (Sunday) to discuss a bill proposed by MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), which will decriminalize the use of marijuana in an unprecedented move in the country.
If the bill is passed by the Knesset, Israelis 21 years or older who are caught with or smoking marijuana for recreational use will only be fined, not charged with a crime. The proposal is part of the new approach adopted by several Israeli government ministries, the Knesset and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) recently.
Last month, JOL News reported that the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) supports implementing Portugal’s model of tackling drug use in Israel. “The problem in the use of cannabis is a social problem and medical problem, only a few cases are criminal problems,” said IADA Director-General Eitan Gorni. The IADA’s chief scientist Dr. Yossi Harel-Fish explained that in Portugal, “the drug problem has been recognized as a health problem and not a criminal problem.”
“It’s good to see that the IADA finally understands that the way is to handle addiction and not fight the use of cannabis and turn the users into criminals,” said MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), the Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse chairwoman. “Israel is moving on and advancing into a new era and it seems like legalization is just a matter of time. The war on drugs failed and we need to be focusing on treatment on the one hand and not criminalizing the use on the other.”