Israel set to legalize cannabis

The proposal announce by Justice Minister Gideon Saar, set to come into effect in March, limits administrative fines on recreational use of weed to NIS 1,000 including for repeated offenses

Tova Zimuki , Nina Fox|Updated:
Justice Minister Gideon Saar on Wednesday published a draft list of proposed new temporary regulations that will decriminalize recreational cannabis use in Israel.
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  • If approved, under the new regulations recreational cannabis use will not be considered a criminal offense and instead will be changed to an administrative offense - similar to most traffic violations.
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    קנאביס מריחואנה ג'וינט חשיש עישון
    קנאביס מריחואנה ג'וינט חשיש עישון
    A woman smokes a cannabis cigarette
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Currently, recreational cannabis use is illegal in Israel, and if one is caught smoking weed, the first offense is subjected to a NIS 1,000 fine, the second offense to NIS 2,000, and a third offense would require a plea in order to close the case. A fourth offense and so on will include criminal indictments.
    Saar's proposed new guidelines will prevent cannabis users from being prosecuted, including people with a criminal record. Fines will be limited to NIS 1,000 IDF troops, police and minors will be excluded from the new regulations.
    2 View gallery
    גדעון סער
    גדעון סער
    Justice Minister Gideon Saar
    (Photo: Alex Gamburg)
    Saar said he is fulfilling an election promise. "Self-use of cannabis will not be considered a criminal offense," he said.
    "Many Israelis have been in practice, made into criminals, violates their personal rights and undermines trust between citizens and law enforcement."
    In 2020, the Justice Ministry proposed legalization of cannabis in Israel according to the Canadian model in which trade and use are legal for adults over 21, including purchases in dedicated stores.
    Possession will be legal in the amount of up to 15 grams and non-criminal up to 50 grams. However, the coalition's attempts to pass such legislation were unsuccessful.
    The regulations proposed by Saar, must be approved by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in the Knesset.
    First published: 21:20, 02.09.22
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