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The government is currently looking over a new list of regulations that would decriminalize recreational use.
On Wednesday, Israel’s Justice Minister announced a new list of rules and regulations that would decriminalize recreational cannabis throughout the country if passed.
Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar wrote up a list of rules that would make recreational cannabis use an administrative offense, one step down from its current criminal offense status. Although cannabis has been decriminalized in Israel since 2017 by the Public Security Ministry, it was only a partial move that kept the consequences to fines and tickets rather than charging them with a criminal offense.
According to the Times of Israel, the current regulations state that first and second offenders receive a NIS 1,000 and NIS 2,000 fine, but a third offense calls for a settlement deal. Additionally, a fourth offense could result in an indictment.
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However, the new list of regulations that could take effect if passed states that all fines will be limited to NIS 1,000, including people with a criminal record. The rules do not allow prosecution other than in specific cases where it’s an exception, and all fines will be the same for first-time or repeat offenders. Finally, soldiers, police officers in compulsory service, and minors are not included in the regulations.
There’s one thing standing in the way of getting these new rules on track. Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar told The Times of Israel that the current regulations expire next month, meaning the government must adopt these rules sooner than later if they want to avoid a relapse into full criminal enforcement once again.
This isn’t the first time we heard of Israel’s plans to decriminalize or legalize recreational cannabis use. Back in 2020, the former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn introduced a bill that would fully legalize recreational cannabis, but between the elections, the bill couldn’t stay afloat due to the collapsed government.
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One member in Sa’ar’s New Hope party is already hoping the new regulations would “put Israel back on the forefront,” said MK Sharren Haskel to The Times of Israel. Haskel is currently leading a parliamentary committee dedicated to bringing these kinds of regulations into existence.
Not only will the new regulations allow consumers to freely use cannabis as they please, but it would also allow scientists to study more about cannabinoids, help import and export the plant, and begin marketing CBD throughout the country. We’re currently still waiting to hear if the new regulations will be passed.
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