Holy Smokes: Israel takes step to decriminalise marijuana use
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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
Israeli government,Marijuana use,Criminal charge
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.”

First Published: Mar 06, 2017 08:05 IST