גידול קנאביס רפואי בצפון הארץ
A medical cannabis farm in northern Israel
Photo: Efi Shrir
A medical cannabis farm in northern Israel

Bills to decriminalize cannabis pass Knesset preliminary vote

Proposals by Likud and Blue & White MKs mainly deal with non-persecution for personal use; Ultra-Orthodox parties, who oppose move, walk out of plenum as part of coalition deal to allow the vote to pass

Moran Azulay, Nina Fuchs |
Published: 06.24.20 , 14:24
Two separate bills involving decriminalization of cannabis use and procurement both passed a Knesset preliminary vote on Wednesday.
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  • The proposed bill tabled by Likud MK Sharren Haskel passed by a 61-11 majority and a similar proposal by Blue & White MK Ram Shefa passed by a 53-12 vote.
    גידול קנאביס רפואי בצפון הארץגידול קנאביס רפואי בצפון הארץ
    A medical cannabis farm in northern Israel
    (Photo: Efi Shrir)
    The ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism faction members and Jewish Home leader Rafi Peretz, who oppose the bill, walked out of the plenum during the vote as part of an agreement between them and coalition leader Miki Zohar to allow the legislation to be voted upon.
    According to Haskel's proposal, possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis would be considered personal use and an administrative offense and not a criminal one. This means that the penalty would be a small fine as opposed to the existing three-year prison sentence.
    רם שפע ושרן השכלרם שפע ושרן השכל
    Likud MK Sharren Haskel and Blue & White MK Ram Shefa
    (Photo: Avi Moalem, Knesset Spokesperson)
    Shefa's proposal, which goes further than Haskel's, proposes that the personal possession of up to 15 grams be made completely legal and its procurement allowed over the age of 21 and in dedicated shops.
    Haskel has said in recent interviews that she hopes to fast track the legislation and have it be made into law within several months.

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