Knesset Committee to Recommend Full Legalization of Cannabis
i24 News – A Knesset committee will recommend the full legalization of marijuana in a report due to be published this week following a review of the country’s current cannabis laws, according to The Times of Israel.
Representatives from the Israel Police, the Public Security Ministry, and the Health Ministry have reportedly signed off on the recommendation following deliberations in an inter-ministerial committee tasked with reviewing current cannabis legislation.
The use of recreational cannabis in Israel is still considered illegal, but the Public Security Ministry partially decriminalized the drug in 2017 and has continued to support an easing of restrictions.
In August, Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein issued new regulations aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by an estimated 50% while making it easier for doctors to issue prescriptions for patients.
The most important reform concerns products made from cannabidiol, or CBD, with the ministry removing the chemical from its list of dangerous substances, where it has appeared since 1973.
If recreational marijuana is legalized, experts say, the Jewish state could become a major exporter of the crop, raking in billions of dollars from international and domestic markets.
Marijuana will then be legally sold to members of the Israeli public over the age of 21 in authorized shops. Growing the crop, however, will likely remain illegal.
An outline of the bill in the inter-ministerial committee shows that some 27% of Israeli adults currently use marijuana, according to the Times.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have signaled their support for the initiative, saying in a joint statement released earlier this year that the law should outline “a responsible model that will be suited to the State of Israel and the Israeli population.”