Photo Credit: Cannabis Training University via Wikimedia
Drying Cannabis Buds

Israel’s government on Sunday adopted a policy of non-incrimination of cannabis users, based on the recommendations of a committee headed by the director of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Ministry, Rotem Peleg. The Interior and the Public Security ministries distributed among all government ministries their proposed changes in the drug enforcement policy setting initial fines rather than criminal procedures against cannabis users.

Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan (Likud), who has led this new reform, said on Sunday that “the government’s stamp of approval is an important first step on the road to applying the new policy, emphasizing education and treatment instead of criminal prosecution.”


An inter-ministerial team will work on amendments to existing laws, regulations as well as on other necessary changes before putting the new policy into action.

Chair of the Committee on Drug Abuse MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) called the government’s new move “an important step, but not the end of the road. It does deliver the message that a million Israeli cannabis consumers are not criminals.” On Monday, Minister Erdan will appear at a special debate at the committee on the non-incrimination reform.

According to the new policy, the first time an individual is caught using cannabis in a public space he or she will be fined about $270, without a criminal record. The second time the fine will be doubled, and by the third time the accused would be able to sign a conditional order, leading to the closing of their criminal file. Only a fourth incident of using cannabis in public would trigger criminal prosecution.


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