Israel Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

A bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession in Israel has been passed the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.

The committee passed the measure in a unanimous vote, sending it towards a vote by the full Knesset (legislature). The proposed law would remove criminal penalties for the personal possession of marijuana, replacing charges with a simple ticket.

For a person’s first-time offense of possessing marijuana, it will be, at most, a ticket of 1,000 shekels ($275). A second offense will be 2,000 shekels, and third offenses (within five years) will allow the individual to ask for a higher fine or community service.

Oren Leibovitz, who heads the Green Leaf party, says Israel is “on the way to complete legalization.”

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at

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