Israel’s Government Committee is reportedly getting ready to release a recommendation in the coming days to legislate marijuana fully. The move comes after Health Ministry changed tack to back recreational use.
The inter-ministerial committee is made up of representatives from the Israel Police, the Public Security Ministry and the Health Ministry. According to a Channel 12 news report from this past weekend, the group will recommend that the government continue efforts to decriminalize cannabis on the way to full legalization.
The report had said that previously the Health Ministry was opposed to legalizing the drug beyond medical use but had changed their stance.
Recreational use of marijuana is currently illegal in the country, though the Public Security Ministry partially decriminalized it in 2017, setting fines and treatment for initial offenders instead of criminal procedures.
This past June two linked bills to legalize cannabis use passed preliminary readings in the Knesset ahead of the three votes required for them to become law.
If passed, selling and purchasing marijuana for personal use would be legal for those above 21 in authorized shops, but growing marijuana at home would still be illegal.
The legislation has also outlined medical marijuana reform, and will decriminalize the possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana while fully legalizing the possession and consumption of up to 15 grams by individuals above the age of 21.
The bill has stated that 27 percent of all adults in Israel consume cannabis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White said in a joint statement in June that they would advance legislation “to resolve the issue of decriminalization and legalization.”
The statement said it would be done “via a responsible model that will be suited to the State of Israel and the Israeli population.”
Public Security Minister Amir Ohana had said then, “The stance of the incoming public security minister is… to minimize harm as much as possible to [otherwise] law-abiding citizens who have offenses linked to the drug.”