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Meretz lawmaker seeks to decriminalize private marijuana use in Israel
October 30, 2013 16:49
According to Tamar Zandberg's bill, personal use of small amounts of marijuana will not be considered a crime

Marijuana 311 (R). (photo credit:Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) submitted what she called the first-ever bill to decriminalize private marijuana use in Israel on Wednesday.

Under Zandberg’s legislation, personal use of small amounts of marijuana would not be considered a crime. The bill also differentiates between the crimes of holding large amounts of cannabis, distributing and selling it, and creates levels of criminality by amount.

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“The time has come to stop the mistaken and wasteful policy against cannabis users,” Zanberg wrote on her blog. “Slowly, slowly the truth is coming out: Cannabis is not harmful or addictive, at least not more than other, legal substances.

“Using [marijuana] is part of a normative, non-criminal lifestyle,” the Meretz MK added.

Earlier this month, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation postponed a vote on a bill by MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu) that would allow any doctor to prescribe medical marijuana, because Health Minister Yael German opposed it.

Also this month, a dozen MKs admitted to smoking marijuana after opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) did so, though she said in an interview last year that she didn’t.

The MKs who admitted that they had tried marijuana were Labor’s Avishay Braverman, Eitan Cabel, Miki Rosenthal and Stav Shaffir; Meretz’s Ilan Gilon, Tamar Zandberg and Michal Roisin; and Yesh Atid’s Pnina Tamnu-Shata, Yoel Razbozov, Adi Kol and Yifat Kariv.
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