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March 13, 2017

Israel Decriminalization Continues International Marijuana Progress

marijuana in hand

This past week, another significant milestone was achieved in the international cannabis world. The State of Israel, which has likely contributed more legitimized scientific research on the cannabis plant than any other country in the world, including the discovery of THC itself, has officially decriminalized and stopped arrests for public cannabis consumption. After decades of research showing the positive medical benefits, it would seem that policy is finally beginning to catch up to science.

Israeli leaders are embracing the trend toward the liberalization of cannabis laws and the need to ease strains on the criminal justice system – a nod to the practical reality that the immorality traditionally assigned to cannabis use is largely dubious and unjustified. As the world moves forward experimenting with various kinds of legal cannabis production, commerce, and consumption, lawmakers around the globe have become emboldened to take measures to slowly remove the associated criminal penalties of prohibition. In Israel, “offenders” will not be arrested for public use of cannabis, but will instead face a fine of up to roughly $270. While this is a step in the right direction, police may still pursue enforcement to an individual upon a fifth infraction.

But according to the Israeli news outlet Haaretz, the new law is clearly meant to be the next concrete move toward a legal and regulated system:

“Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who led the reform, said that ‘the government’s approval is an important step on the way to implement the new policy, which will emphasize public information and treatment instead of criminal enforcement.’

“…MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), the chairwoman of the Knesset Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said that “this is an important step, but not the end of the road. It sends a message that a million of Israelis who consume marijuana aren’t criminals. We will carry on following the details in the committee and ensure that the change is implemented.”

“…Erdan had said that Israel’s marijuana arrest policy was reexamined due to legalization efforts around the world.”

With Germany expanding its medical law, Canada moving toward implementing legalization (despite some very unnecessary arrests), and great advancements already made in Portugal and The Netherlands, it is apparent that we are seeing great progress around the globe, opening up more freedom and economic opportunities for the cannabis community.

Learn the latest developments in the global marijuana industry at the International Cannabis Business Conference, this April 10-12 in Berlin, Germany! Buy your tickets today!

Photo credit: Katheirne Hitt

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