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Israel: Marijuana Use Would Be Decriminalized Under Proposal

Image: Israel: Marijuana Use Would Be Decriminalized Under Proposal

A worker touches plants at a cannabis greenhouse at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011, near the northern city of Safed, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 06 Mar 2017 03:37 PM

Israel moved to decriminalize marijuana use with a measure approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet.

Under the proposed statute, which still must be approved by the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, those caught using marijuana in public would pay a first-time fine of about $270 and would not face criminal charges, according to The New York Times. Fines would increase with repeated offenses, with criminal charges only being filed after about the fourth offense.

No penalty would be levied for personal use in a private residence, but selling and growing marijuana would still be criminal offenses, Reuters reported. Medical marijuana use has been legal in Israel since the mid-1990s, and Israel has been a pioneer in researching the benefits of the drug for medicinal purposes.

“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,” Netanyahu said, according to Reuters. Israeli authorities plan to focus on educating citizens about the harmful effects and dangers of drug abuse.

Israel had already largely decriminalized the use of marijuana in deed, if not by law, since there were fewer than 200 arrests for marijuana use in 2015, and many of those were never prosecuted, Reuters reported.

Twitter users explored the issue with comments ranging from anti-Israel statements to wondering if marijuana was kosher.

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Israel moved to decriminalize marijuana use with a measure approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet.
israel, marijuana, use, decriminalized
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2017-37-06
Monday, 06 Mar 2017 03:37 PM
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