Former Likud MK and veteran cannabis legalization advocate Sharren Haskel on Tuesday revealed the new "cannabis platform" for Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope Party, promising that under a Sa'ar led government, recreational cannabis would be fully decriminalized within 100 days, and fully regulated and legalized within a year.
Haskel announced her plan in a short, sarcastic ad which plays on negative stereotypes that cannabis users often face.
"Have you ever noticed that when public servants are called upon to deal with regulating cannabis they tend to be... Confused? Slow? Lose their memory? Their sense of logic?"
While the ad places Haskel on the same side as recreational and medical cannabis users who had been frustrated by latest Knesset, Haskel has also received criticism from cannabis activists lately after abstaining from a vote on extending the government for a week, essentially helping to doom the legalization process which she had helped create.
"To successfully pull off a reform in cannabis, you need someone who is a little more of a Sss... Sa'ar. Gideon Sa'ar. New Hope will make sure to make it happen."
She ended her ad by plugging New Hope's newly published plan for reforming, regulating and legalizing the recreational and medical cannabis industries, which is based mainly on recommendations from the justice ministry's cannabis committee, which were published last November.
The biggest change under their plan would be their promise that under a Sa'ar-led government, cannabis will be "truly decriminalized" within 100 days of the government's formation, and fully regulated and legalized within a year.
The rest of their plan is mainly related to the reforming the medical cannabis industry.
They plan to do this by expanding the government's Medical Cannabis Unit into an inspecting body, adding cannabis into Israel's medicine basket to allow specialist doctors to prescribe it more freely, and changing certain regulations which restrict growing and allow a larger variety of strains to be grown locally.
Regarding the specific legislative changes in New Hope's plan, the two main focal points are fears of rising addiction and cannabis use for people below the age of 21.
The plan calls to regulate cannabis growing, whether recreational or medicinal, in the same category as tobacco and alcohol, in which illegal growing must be on a large scale to incur legal consequences.
All in all, the plan is mainly a continuation of the last legalization process which was cut off prematurely when the Knesset dispersed.
However, now that the most vocal cannabis advocates in the Knesset have all left their respective coalition parties and joined opposition parties - Haskel left the Likud, former MK Ram Shefa and former justice minister Avi Nissenkorn left Blue and White - it's looking more likely that legalization would likely happen in a similar manner in any coalition not led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.