It seems Israel is ready to get lit, as they may just be the next country to legalise cannabis. Over the weekend, a new bill decriminalising cannabis was approved by Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation. If passed, the legislation will legalise the possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis. Adults over the age of 21 will also be able to legally purchase and consume up to 15 grams at a time (but we recommend you spread it out).
However, growing your own cannabis will remain illegal through the 1973 Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. Instead, cannabis will only be sold through authorised shops. Interestingly, all advertising restrictions on tobacco would also apply to cannabis products. You also won’t be able to drive on cannabis or use it if you work in a security position (sorry Israeli Police).
The bill was co-sponsored by Blue and White MK Ram Shefa and Likud MK Sharren Haskel – who see this bill as the natural next towards full cannabis legislation. In 2017, the Public Security Ministry decriminalized the possession of cannabis below 15 grams. Next, criminal charges for cannabis possession were replaced with fines and rehabilitation programs. Now, cosponsor Haskel celebrates the bill’s progress, saying:
I’m proud to bring good news to over one million cannabis users and tens of thousands of sick people.
If the bill passes it will also make medical cannabis far easier to access in Israel. While medical cannabis has been legal since the 90s, it’s extremely difficult to get. To prescribe medical cannabis, Israeli doctors must be trained and certified in medical cannabis. Then the prescription must be approved by The Ministry of Health. Even then, medical cannabis can only be bought from authorized pharmacies.
However, if this legislation passes, it may be extremely profitable for Australia. Israel’s cannabis market is enormous, as they have the highest rate of cannabis use in the world per-capita. Currently, over 27% of Israeli’s aged between 18 and 65 consume cannabis at least once a year.
But – before you celebrate, this legislation will still need to pass through three votes in the Knesset before it becomes law.
We’ll keep you updated.