This week, the Israeli cabinet voted to decriminalize cannabis nationwide. The law will be ratified by Parliament and take effect shortly after. Under the new policy anyone who is caught using cannabis in public will be subject to a 250 fine, but the infraction will not go on their criminal record. People who are caught over and over will be subject to prosecution, so I wouldn’t go lighting up a j on the street corner just yet.
It’s important to remember that decriminalization isn’t the same as legalization; growing and selling cannabis would still be illegal. You won’t be seeing dispensaries there any time soon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “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.” Rather than punishing its citizens for cannabis use, the Israeli government will focus on education and rehabilitation. It’s a good start, and there’s no doubt that dedicated cannabis activists will continue the fight for legalization.
This news is particularly exciting for the cannabis industry. Israel happens to have the one of the biggest medical cannabis industries in the world. Most technological advances in the field of medical cannabis are coming from there.
Cannabis tech companies are very excited about the new policy. Saul Kaye CEO of iCan, a company that helps cannabis tech startups, said in an interview with CNN, “Decriminalizing cannabis in Israel is another step towards creating a Canna-Tech global industry, with Israel at the forefront.”
Israel joins the ever expanding company of countries and the handful of US states, who have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Canada is also expected to legalize cannabis for recreational use later this year.
Image Source: The Independent
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