Outgoing Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino has been discussing with a Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member major changes in the laws concerning the use of marijuana.
MK Yinon Magal freely says he has smoked grass and wants to change the laws that ban marijuana, except for medical uses.
Israel has one of the highest rates in the West when it comes to issuing permits to use marijuana for medical purposes. Danino noted that the number has grown from only 400 years ago to 20,000 today.
He was quoted by the Hebrew-language free newspaper Yisrael HaYom as saying during a speech at the Beersheba and Negev Trade Bureau:
What will eventually happen here is that anyone with money will be able to get a permit, and anyone who doesn’t have money will be trying to get [cannabis] on the streets. Things are happening in the world, so we can’t stick our heads in the sand. We need to deal with this issue\
Throughout the world, this has been a method of making [cannabis] legal. In California you can walk around in plenty of places and see signs offering a fake permit for medical marijuana for $50. We in Israel don’t want that. Because if we really want to change the law and decriminalize [cannabis] use, or make some drugs legal, let’s do it properly.
It is not a foregone conclusion that marijuana is good medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated, “Marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”
The Anti-Drug Authority is not thrilled over Danino’s readiness to re-examine the laws.
Eitan Gorni, acting director of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority said that “the police commissioner’s recent statements are beyond the authority and responsibility of the police to make,” according to Haaretz.
The WeedBlog.com pro-marijuana website wrote:
How cool would it be if Mr. Danino joined Law Enforcement against Prohibition? Get this guy an application maybe? Anyhow, this is great news. Anytime a sitting leader of a law enforcement agency says that he or she wants to have a candid discussion about how to improve marijuana laws, that’s a good thing.
Endless studies have been carried without conclusive evidence whether smoking marijuana leads to getting hooked on harder drugs, but there also are moral implications because smoking marijuana often is accompanied by cult rituals that lead to idleness.
It will be interesting to hear what rabbis in Israel have to say on the issue. Many rabbis have ruled that smoking cigarettes is not “kosher” because although it does not violate dietary laws, it is dangerous to the health.
Rabbi Moshe Elefant, of the Orthodox Union’s kosher certification agency said earlier this year that the OU “would not have a problem certifying” medical marijuana, but most rabbis frown on smoking grass for “recreational” use.
It sounds “cool” to make it legal for people to smoke pot, but when the grass starts growing too high, it is a good hiding place for snakes.