The Israeli government officially approved legislation for the decriminalization of marijuana usage.
Israeli press outlets revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet had passed a measure that would reduce punishment for marijuana possession. If caught, individuals would pay a fine instead of facing charges.
According to The Associated Press, Netanyahu said before Sunday’s meeting that a “new enforcement policy” should be proposed “cautiously and in a controlled manner.”
However, despite the decision, it does not mean that Isreal will now have Amsterdam-style shops. The Haaretz Daily said that a committee is going to study ways to regulate the use of marijuana.
“The government’s approval is an important step on the way to implement the new policy, which will emphasize public information and treatment instead of criminal enforcement,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who led the reform, told the ISraieli publication.
Opposition legislator Tamar Zandberg told The Haaretz Daily: “This is an important step, but not the end. It sends a message that a million Israelis who consume marijuana aren’t criminals.”
The government has established an inter-ministerial team to propose amendments, regulations and the required changes to implement the new policy.
Erdan will attend a special committee meeting on Monday, to further discuss the decriminalization reform.