Israel Is On The Cusp of Legalizing Cannabis

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for legislation has just approved a bill that could make cannabis recreationally legal throughout the country.

Over the weekend, two bills were advanced by The Israeli Ministerial Committee which sought to decriminalize and legalize cannabis use respectively.

One bill would decriminalize cannabis possession for adults aged above 21 years in instances up to 50 grams, or up to 2 cannabis plants in a private place for personal use. Exceeding the 50-gram limit would result in a large fine, and using cannabis in public will remain illegal. There are also clauses that would allow for the expunging of cannabis convictions off of people's criminal records.

The second bill seeks to fully legalize possession and recreational use of up to 15 grams of marijuana for citizens over 21 years old while also decriminalizing possession of up to 50 grams.

Similar to Canada, driving under the influence of cannabis, as well as marketing cannabis products, would remain illegal in Israel, even if the bills were made into law.

The bills received bipartisan support, and were sponsored by MK Ram Shefa (Blue and White) and MK Sharen Haskel (Likud).

From this point, the bills will be passed on to the Knesset, who will undergo three rounds of voting, beginning this coming Wednesday.

Tamar Zandberg, of the secular Meretz party, expressed her desire to see the bills become enacted into law. "There is no sensible reason in 2020 for cannabis users to be considered criminals," she said. "When we started this struggle, we were called names and made fun of, but like in any just struggle, when you do not give up or get afraid, you can emerge victorious."

Similarly, Sharren Haskel, a lawmaker from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, stated in a facebook post that "For the first in the State of Israel's history, my legislative move is officially beginning to regulate the cannabis market in Israel."

Haskel was a co-sponsor of the bill, alongside the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) Knesset member Ram Shefa. Additionally, the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously issued a statement vowing to push for cannabis legalization, which suggests that there is the underlying support for these bills.

Should the bills be made into law, Israel would become the third country, after Canada and Uruguay to have federally legalized cannabis. In that event, you might want to pay attention to MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) who are currently cementing their position within the Israeli cannabis industry.

MGC Pharma recently just signed a binding term sheet with IM Cannabis Corp, also known as IMC, to become the exclusive wholesale importer of their flagship Epilepsy drug, CannEpil in Israel over the next five years.

Moreover, MXC has been granted a second Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval from the Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Israel for an additional site to conduct a Phase II, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the company's natural anti-infective based formulation on patients diagnosed with COVID-19 known as ArtemiC.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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