Israel has long been investigating the medical uses of marijuana, and has made the goal of commercializing the substance for medical purposes. However, a new policy may be paving the way for more widespread use of recreational marijuana in Israel. According to the new policy, which has yet to be approved by the Israeli Parliament, people caught using the drug in public would simply receive fines instead of criminal charges. The new policy would still outlaw growing and selling marijuana, regardless of its intended use. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet, along with several pro-medical marijuana companies, hope that the new policy will eliminate the negative connotation associated with marijuana. They also hope to be able to commercialize marijuana as a medical treatment and make it available to export to other countries.
Personally, I believe legalizing marijuana for medical use is a risky move. Although I agree that it can be a beneficial treatment to people who suffer from chronic and severe pain, the margin for misuse is super high. I’m not happy that Israel removed the criminal penalties associated with using marijuana in public, and I think that it will lead to a large increase in recreational use. It will be interesting to see whether the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, approves the cabinet’s prospective plan.
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