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At the Health Ministry's request, five dangerous substances sold in kiosks and 24-hour shops were added to the list of "dangerous drugs" by the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday.
The addictive "mind-benders," which previously were illegal to sell but were not on the ministry's list of restricted imports, are called Halahit shel Ilanit (Ilanit's Hit); Halom Belavan (White Dream); Rakefet (Cyclamen); Aspirin Im Kritza (Aspirin With a Wink); and Hagigat Kayitz 2008 (Celebration of the Summer of 2008).
According to the Knesset committee, they come in capsule, pill and liquid form and cause serious and uncontrollable side effects. They also cause harm to internal organs, including the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. The main consumers of these drugs are teenagers.
Five percent of all drug abuse files opened during the past year involved this type of drug, according to Dep.-Cmdr. Udi Wolf of the Internal Security Ministry. Only this past week, he said, 12,000 capsules were seized, each costing NIS 80 to NIS 120. Until now, those guilty of possession could get up to three years in jail, but now that they are on the serious drugs list, they can get up to 20 years in prison.
These capsules replace the well-known hagigat, which was previously made illegal, and now they have various street names.
"Drug dealers have become increasingly sophisticated and clever" in their aim of selling drugs, committee chairman MK Yitzhak Galanti (Gil Pensioners) said. "This requires the legal authorities to become more alert in identifying new drug compounds. I have no doubt that as we add more to the list, new ones will appear."
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