A legal memo on cannabis legalization from an Israeli inter-ministerial committee is set to be drafted into a bill that could come to the Knesset floor for a vote before the year’s end. The measure is expected to be approved by lawmakers in about nine months, the Jerusalem Post reports.
According to the memo, legalization would likely occur in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The memo – which has been under consideration by the committee for four months – will be re-written into legislation under the supervision of Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, chairwoman of the Knesset’s Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Use.
“I see great importance that these two bills [for decriminalization and legalization] be put forth as a single bill, which will be a responsible, holistic step for Israel without compromise. I am committed to leading, advancing and supervising the application of these recommendations for reform, while doing the preparations required in the memo on time.” – Cotler-Wunsh to the Post
The memo includes budgetary provisions for product and data tracking, law enforcement, mental health and addiction treatment, policies to prevent youth cannabis use, and the establishment of a social and community action fund paid for with cannabis-derived taxes, the report says.
While the memo sets the legal purchase and consumption age at 21, it does not set possession limits and does not permit home cultivation.
Likud MK Sharren Haskel, who wrote the decriminalization bill, said the recommendations “are righting an injustice” of the previous cannabis legalization committee.
“These recommendations confirm what I and many in the public have already known for years: that the current policy has failed and we must change and repair it,” she said.
The reforms are supported by Blue and White leader and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, who included legalization in his campaign platform.