For over a decade, Israel has been at the forefront of research and development in the field of medical cannabis.
In fact, it could be argued that the most famous name in cannabis is Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli who isolated THC, CBD and discovered the Endocannabinoid System.
However, for all that the country has done to advance cannabis for medicinal purposes, it has distanced itself from a recreational legalization or decriminalization…until now.
According to reports, lawmakers are on the verge of decriminalizing cannabis in Israel for the first three times someone is caught using the plant.
The bill released by officials states that a person caught using cannabis for the first time would be fined NIS 1,000 and NIS 2,000 if caught a second time within five years of the first offence. If a citizen is caught using cannabis for a third time, a “conditional arrangement” will be made which would require the person to pay a substantial fine or do community service. No jail time will be handed out at all during the first three offences.
However, the new rulings will not apply to children under 18 or those with a criminal record.
The law will initially only run for three years as the country look to test the water of decriminalization, before moving to more concrete rulings like Portugal.
Security Minister Gilad Erdan spoke to the media after the bill was announced stating;
“I hope and believe that the law will prevent unnecessary incrimination of civilians, while also minimizing cannabis consumption, especially for our youth.”