Public Security Minister (Likud) Gilad Erdan this week announced Israel is taking a radical turn towards leniency pertaining to the use of marijuana in Israel. Anyone apprehended with pot in the future, providing the amount is for personal use (up to 15 grams) and not distribution, will be fined and not arrested as has been the case in the past. If however one is fined three times, the fourth time he is apprehended, he may face a criminal indictment.
The new policy requires cabinet approval, which is expected. Details state that first offense would lead to a fine without a criminal record. The second would be a double fine without a criminal record. The third time around a record would exist but it would be closed. Only if a person is apprehended a fourth time will police have the option of filing charges, however it will not be mandatory.
The fine will most likely be NIS 1,000, similar to the fine for smoking in a public area. it is pointed out the new policy pertains only to marijuana and not to any other drugs.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)