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Home / World News / Holy Smokes: Israel takes step to decriminalise marijuana use

Holy Smokes: Israel takes step to decriminalise marijuana use

Israeli media say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet has approved a measure that would reduce penalties for possession of marijuana. If caught, smokers would pay a fine, instead of facing criminal charges.

world Updated: Mar 06, 2017 08:05 IST
AP
AP
Jerusalem
An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel. The Israeli government has taken a step toward decriminaliSing marijuana use.
An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel. The Israeli government has taken a step toward decriminaliSing marijuana use. (AP File Photo)

Holy smokes! The Israeli government has taken a step toward decriminalizing marijuana use.

Israeli media say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet has approved a measure that would reduce penalties for possession of marijuana. If caught, smokers would pay a fine, instead of facing criminal charges.

Netanyahu said ahead of Sunday’s meeting that a “new enforcement policy” should be drawn up “cautiously and in a controlled manner.”

The decision does not mean that Jerusalem will now have Amsterdam-style coffee shops. The Haaretz daily said a committee would study ways to regulate the use of pot.

Opposition lawmaker Tamar Zandberg told Haaretz: “This is an important step, but not the end of the road. It sends a message that a million Israelis who consume marijuana aren’t criminals.”