‘Time to distinguish between hard and soft drugs’

Justice Ministry official: Attorney-general has told state prosecutors to operate on the basis of such a distinction.

August 3, 2011 04:01
2 minute read.

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


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The time has come to distinguish between the use of hard and soft drugs, Justice Ministry official Drora Nehamni told the Knesset Committee on Drug Use Tuesday.

Nehamni added that the attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, had instructed state prosecutors to operate along the basis of such a distinction.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Police: Importing medical marijuana would curb illegal use
Future of medical marijuana in Israel up for gov’t debate

At present, the law makes no distinction between the use of drugs such as heroin and cannabis – although it does differentiate between possession of drugs for self-use and intention to sell to others.

Addressing the committee, Public Security Minister Director Yaakov Ganot said far too many criminal cases were being opened over the use of soft drugs. He added, “We can say unequivocally that there is a leakage of medical cannabis to unlicensed users.”

The Knesset Committee also decided on Tuesday to set up a new body that will examine the use of light drugs.

“The number of criminal cases opened over usage of soft drugs is simply a waste of resources,” Committee Chairman Knesset Member Talab El-Sana (Ra’am Ta’al) said. “If the relevant state authorities would stop treating all addicts and users of light drugs as criminals, we could efficiently minimize the number of users, while providing them with rehabilitation facilities.”


El-Sana said Israel should invest “most of its resources and energies towards the war against organized crime and heavy dealers, and not focus on those who take drugs for self-use.”

Members of the committee were presented with a study prepared by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center, which noted that the UN had recently called for members states to stop criminalizing people who used drugs but who did not harm others, and which called for legal regulation of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime.

The UN panel added that regulating drugs rather than allowing criminal elements to monopolize the drug trade would also safeguard the health of users.

“These recommendations are in contrast to the traditional policy of Israel in the field of drugs,” the study said.

It added that according to the last poll carried out on the subject, 11.42 percent of the adult population used illegal psycho-active drugs. The figure among teenagers was slightly lower at 10.66%.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night