Israel taking steps towards decriminalising marijuana
JERUSALEM - Israel has begun taking steps to decriminalise marijuana use in favour of fines and treatment, the public security minister said on Thursday.
"This means that we are moving toward fines... and that criminal prosecutions will only be used as a last resort," the minister, Gilad Erdan, told reporters.
He said that he had adopted the conclusions of a commission created to study the issue and which recommended the move.
It must now be approved by the cabinet, but Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has reportedly already indicated she will support it.
The recommendations include imposing a fine of 1,000 shekels ($265, 250 euros) for a first offence of smoking marijuana in public. The fine would double on the second offence.
A fourth offence could result in criminal prosecution.
While recreational marijuana use has remained illegal in Israel, the country has for 10 years authorised medicinal marijuana for those with cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and degenerative disease.