Israel just decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The Israeli parliament new Marijuana possession laws took effect on May 28.
Under these new guidelines, possession of small amounts of marijuana will not result in jail time.
Possession of over half an ounce is still considered to be criminal, but this is just the first step towards legalization.
Here is an overview of the new and current Marijuana possession laws in Israel:
- Carrying a half ounce or less results in no jail time
- First offense of 15 grams or less results in fines equivalent to $275 USD
- Second offense fines equal to $550 USD
- Third offense will result in criminal record
- Fourth offense will result in indictment
- Refusal to pay fines can result to 1 year jail time
Its also important to note that these changes will in no way allow the consumption of marijuana in public. Smoking weed in public will result in penalties that may include jail time.
Although the new laws may still seem a little harsh, it’s just the first step.
Since Israeli officers have already been know to look the other way towards enforcing old laws, this just makes sense.
The Israeli public has been steadily changing their views on cannabis use. Just as in the US, Pot is no longer seen as a “hard drug”.
This sentiment in public opinion is being reflected in the amount of marijuana related arrests being made over the past half decade.
Since 2010 marijuana related arrests have dropped by over 30%
We are hopeful that these new laws, along with the wave of legalization laws in the US, the world will come to its senses. It’s time to realize that marijuana is medicine and expand on important MMJ research as such.